Cytarabine is indicated primarily for: Induction and maintenance of remission in acute myelocytic leukaemia of both adults and children.
It has also been found to be useful in the treatment of other leukaemias such as: Acute lymphocytic leukaemia; Chronic myelocytic leukaemia (blast phase).
Cytarabine may be used alone or in combination with other antineoplastic agents, the best results are often obtained with combination therapy. Children with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma have benefited from a combination drug program (LSA2L2) that includes cytarabine. Remissions induced by cytarabine not followed by maintenance treatment have been brief. Maintenance therapy has extended these and provided useful and comfortable remissions with relatively little toxicity. Cytarabine has been used intrathecally in meningeal leukaemia. Focal leukaemic involvement of the central nervous system may not respond to intrathecal cytarabine and may better be treated with radiotherapy.