Following exposure to cytotoxic agents, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) blasts elevate cellular cholesterol in a defensive adaptation that increases chemoresistance, but blockade of HMG-CoA reductase with statins restores chemosensitivity in vitro. This phase 1 study evaluated adding pravastatin (PV) (40-1680 mg/day, days 1-8) to idarubicin (Ida) ([12 mg/(M2· day), days 4-6]) + high-dose cytarabine (Ara-C; HDAC) [1.5 g/(M 2·day) by CI, days 4-7] in 15 newly diagnosed and 22 salvage patients with unfavorable (n = 26) or intermediate (n = 10) prognosis cytogenetics. Compared with historical experience with Ida-HDAC, the duration of neutropenia and throbmbocytopenia and the toxicity profile were unaffected by the addition of PV. During PV loading (day 0-4) serum triglyceride and total and LDL cholesterol levels decreased in nearly all patients. Pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated higher and more sustained serum PV levels with PV doses above 1280 mg/day. CR/CRp was obtained in 11 of 15 new patients, including 8 of 10 with unfavorable cytogenetics, and 9 of 22 salvage patients. An MTD for PV + Ida-HDAC was not reached. Addition of PV to Ida-HDAC was safe, and the encouraging response rates support conducting further trials evaluating the effect of cholesterol modulation on response in AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology