The clinical effects of cyclosporin were evaluated during cytotoxic treatment in a 61 year old man with acute myeloid leukaemia. He had required a renal transplant 18 months before presenting with acute myeloid leukaemia (FAB subtype M4). He had received cyclosporin 3.5-4.0 mg/kg daily to maintain a plasma cyclosporin concentration of 75-150 ng/ml. Cyclosporin was continued during induction chemotherapy with daunorubicin, cytarabine, and 6-thioguanine (DAT). He had fever and oropharyngeal candidiasis that was unresponsive to anti-bacterial drugs but responsive to systemic amphotericin. Bone marrow examination 14 days after chemotherapy showed complete haematological remission. Subsequently he tolerated consolidation treatment with DAT with no serious complications. Unfortunately he developed fatal septicaemia following a second consolidation with mitozantrone and cytarabine. Inhibition of P-glycoprotein activity by cyclosporin may not significantly increase the toxicity of aggressive chemotherapeutic regimens, and as benefit may be achieved by this approach further clinical evaluation is justified.
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