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Posted by on Feb 5, 2020 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to investigate the safety and effectiveness of alisertib combined with induction chemotherapy in patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia. 

This study concluded that this combination was safe and effective in these patients.  

Some background

Alisertib is a type of targeted therapy called an aurora A kinase (AAK) inhibitor. It has previously been used in lymphoma. It is an experimental therapy.  

In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), levels of AAK are increased. AAK leads to a multiplication of cancerous cells. Therefore, an AAK inhibitor may be useful in AML. It is not known if AAK inhibitor alisertib is safe and effective in patients with AML.  

Methods & findings

This study involved 39 previously untreated patients with high-risk AML. 49% of patients had secondary AML and 8% had therapy-related AML. Patients received alisertib combined with 7+3 induction chemotherapy. 7+3 induction chemotherapy involved cytarabine (Ara-C) and idarubicin (Idamycin). The average follow-up was 13.7 months. 

64% of patients achieved a remission. 51% of these achieved complete remission (CR; no signs of cancer). 13% achieved CR with incomplete neutrophil (white blood cells) or platelet count recovery. 

41% of patients experienced severely low white blood cell levels and fever. 33% experienced severe thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet level). 28% of patients experienced anemia (low red blood cell count). 23% experienced loss of appetite and 10% experienced mouth sores. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that alisertib combined with induction chemotherapy is safe and effective in previously untreated high-risk AML patients.  

The fine print

This was a phase 2 study with a small number of participants and a short follow-up. Further larger studies are needed. 

Published By :

The Lancet. Haematology

Date :

Dec 11, 2019

Original Title :

Alisertib plus induction chemotherapy in previously untreated patients with high-risk, acute myeloid leukaemia: a single-arm, phase 2 trial.

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