Cytosine arabinoside (cytarabine or Ara-C) has been one of the cornerstones of treatment of acute myeloid leukemia since its approval in 1969. Standard induction therapy worldwide for all patients deemed fit for treatment (excluding those with acute promyelocytic leukemia) remains unchanged for over 40 years and consists of Ara-C administered by continuous infusion in combination with a topoisomerase II inhibitor (e.g., daunorubicin, idarubicin and mitoxantrone). Despite decades of clinical investigation, the optimum dose of both agents still remains unclear. Although higher doses of Ara-C have been shown to improve response rates, the elderly poorly tolerate these regimens. Resistance mechanisms also develop or may be present at diagnosis resulting in poor outcomes. Elacytarabine (CP-4055), an elaidic acid ester of Ara-C, has been developed using lipid vector technology in an attempt to overcome these limitations. Clinical data are encouraging, with evidence suggesting that this novel agent is circumventing resistance mechanisms but retaining the potent antileukemic efficacy of Ara-C.
- acute myeloid leukemia
- human equilibrative nucleoside receptor
- lipid vector technology
ASJC Scopus subject areas