The treatment of hairy cell leukemia (HCL) has considerably changed over years. Purine analogues, namely cladribine, now represent the treatment of choice. One hundred and eighty-four patients were followed between 1986 and 2018 and treated according to era-specific guidelines. Responses were classified by combining Consensus Resolution criteria and marrow immunohistochemistry. Patients were grouped according to the number of treatment lines they received. Patients treated first line responded in 86% of cases, with complete response (CR) in 44% of cases. Response rates remained high throughout the first 4 lines (84%, 81%, 79% for the second line onward, with CR in 38%, 37%, 15% of cases respectively). One hundred and twenty-two patients received cladribine as first line treatment, with a response rate of 86% and a CR rate of 54%. Among the 66 CR patients, 45 (68%) have never received further therapy: 11 patients are in continuous CR between 5 and 10 years after treatment, 14 between 10 and 20 years and 3 patients at more than 20 years. Median time-to-next treatment (TTNT) for frontline cladribine-treated patients was 8.2 years: partial responders had a significantly shorter median TTNT than CR patients (5.3 years versus median not reached at 25.8 years, p=0.0001). Patients with HCL require subsequent lines of therapy in more than 50% of cases. Purine analogues allow significant response rates when applied first line and upon retreatment. Some patients may enjoy long lasting treatment-free intervals after one course of cladribine. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.