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      Eltrombopag for the treatment of aplastic anemia: current perspectives

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      Drug Design, Development and Therapy

      Dove Medical Press

      eltrombopag, aplastic anemia, thrombopoietin, c-Mpl receptors

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          Abstract

          Aplastic anemia (AA) is a potential life-threatening hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) disorder resulting in cytopenia. The mainstays of treatment for AA are definitive therapy to restore HSCs and supportive measures to ameliorate cytopenia-related complications. The standard definitive therapy is HSC transplantation for young and medically fit patients with suitable donors and immunosuppressive therapy (IST) with antithymocyte globulin and cyclosporine for the remaining patients. A significant proportion of patients are refractory to IST or relapse after IST. Various strategies have been explored in these patients, including second course of antithymocyte globulin, high-dose cyclophosphamide, and alemtuzumab. Eltrombopag, a thrombopoietin mimetic, has recently emerged as an encouraging and promising agent for patients with refractory AA. It has demonstrated efficacy in restoring trilineage hematopoiesis, and this positive effect continues after discontinuation of the drug. There are ongoing clinical trials exploring the role of eltrombopag as a first-line therapy in moderate to severe AA and a combination of eltrombopag with IST in severe AA.

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          Most cited references 60

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          Efficacy of romiplostim in patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura: a double-blind randomised controlled trial.

          Chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is characterised by accelerated platelet destruction and decreased platelet production. Short-term administration of the thrombopoiesis-stimulating protein, romiplostim, has been shown to increase platelet counts in most patients with chronic ITP. We assessed the long-term administration of romiplostim in splenectomised and non-splenectomised patients with ITP. In two parallel trials, 63 splenectomised and 62 non-splenectomised patients with ITP and a mean of three platelet counts 30x10(9)/L or less were randomly assigned 2:1 to subcutaneous injections of romiplostim (n=42 in splenectomised study and n=41 in non-splenectomised study) or placebo (n=21 in both studies) every week for 24 weeks. Doses of study drug were adjusted to maintain platelet counts of 50x10(9)/L to 200x10(9)/L. The primary objectives were to assess the efficacy of romiplostim as measured by a durable platelet response (platelet count > or =50x10(9)/L during 6 or more of the last 8 weeks of treatment) and treatment safety. Analysis was per protocol. These studies are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, numbers NCT00102323 and NCT00102336. A durable platelet response was achieved by 16 of 42 splenectomised patients given romplostim versus none of 21 given placebo (difference in proportion of patients responding 38% [95% CI 23.4-52.8], p=0.0013), and by 25 of 41 non-splenectomised patients given romplostim versus one of 21 given placebo (56% [38.7-73.7], p<0.0001). The overall platelet response rate (either durable or transient platelet response) was noted in 88% (36/41) of non-splenectomised and 79% (33/42) of splenectomised patients given romiplostim compared with 14% (three of 21) of non-splenectomised and no splenectomised patients given placebo (p<0.0001). Patients given romiplostim achieved platelet counts of 50x10(9)/L or more on a mean of 13.8 (SE 0.9) weeks (mean 12.3 [1.2] weeks in splenectomised group vs 15.2 [1.2] weeks in non-splenectomised group) compared with 0.8 (0.4) weeks for those given placebo (0.2 [0.1] weeks vs 1.3 [0.8] weeks). 87% (20/23) of patients given romiplostim (12/12 splenectomised and eight of 11 non-splenectomised patients) reduced or discontinued concurrent therapy compared with 38% (six of 16) of those given placebo (one of six splenectomised and five of ten non-splenectomised patients). Adverse events were much the same in patients given romiplostim and placebo. No antibodies against romiplostim or thrombopoietin were detected. Romiplostim was well tolerated, and increased and maintained platelet counts in splenectomised and non-splenectomised patients with ITP. Many patients were able to reduce or discontinue other ITP medications. Stimulation of platelet production by romiplostim may provide a new therapeutic option for patients with ITP.
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            Current concepts in the pathophysiology and treatment of aplastic anemia.

            Aplastic anemia, an unusual hematologic disease, is the paradigm of the human bone marrow failure syndromes. Almost universally fatal just a few decades ago, aplastic anemia can now be cured or ameliorated by stem-cell transplantation or immunosuppressive drug therapy. The pathophysiology is immune mediated in most cases, with activated type 1 cytotoxic T cells implicated. The molecular basis of the aberrant immune response and deficiencies in hematopoietic cells is now being defined genetically; examples are telomere repair gene mutations in the target cells and dysregulated T-cell activation pathways. Immunosuppression with antithymocyte globulins and cyclosporine is effective at restoring blood-cell production in the majority of patients, but relapse and especially evolution of clonal hematologic diseases remain problematic. Allogeneic stem-cell transplant from histocompatible sibling donors is curative in the great majority of young patients with severe aplastic anemia; the major challenges are extending the benefits of transplantation to patients who are older or who lack family donors. Recent results with alternative sources of stem cells and a variety of conditioning regimens to achieve their engraftment have been promising, with survival in small pediatric case series rivaling conventional transplantation results.
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              Eltrombopag for the treatment of chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

              The pathogenesis of chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) involves antibody-mediated platelet destruction and reduced platelet production. Stimulation of platelet production may be an effective treatment for this disorder. We conducted a trial in which 118 adults with chronic ITP and platelet counts of less than 30,000 per cubic millimeter who had had relapses or whose platelet count was refractory to at least one standard treatment for ITP were randomly assigned to receive the oral thrombopoietin-receptor agonist eltrombopag (30, 50, or 75 mg daily) or placebo. The primary end point was a platelet count of 50,000 or more per cubic millimeter on day 43. In the eltrombopag groups receiving 30, 50, and 75 mg per day, the primary end point was achieved in 28%, 70%, and 81% of patients, respectively. In the placebo group, the end point was achieved in 11% of patients. The median platelet counts on day 43 for the groups receiving 30, 50, and 75 mg of eltrombopag were 26,000, 128,000, and 183,000 per cubic millimeter, respectively; for the placebo group the count was 16,000 per cubic millimeter. By day 15, more than 80% of patients receiving 50 or 75 mg of eltrombopag daily had an increased platelet count. Bleeding also decreased during treatment in these two groups. The incidence and severity of adverse events were similar in the placebo and eltrombopag groups. Eltrombopag increased platelet counts in a dose-dependent manner in patients with relapsed or refractory ITP. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00102739.) 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2016
                13 September 2016
                : 10
                : 2833-2843
                Affiliations
                Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Manchester, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: John D Grainger, Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK, Tel +44 16 1701 8416, Fax +44 16 1701 8410, Email john.grainger@ 123456cmft.nhs.uk
                Article
                dddt-10-2833
                10.2147/DDDT.S95715
                5028092
                © 2016 Lum and Grainger. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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