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      Quizartinib (AC220): a promising option for acute myeloid leukemia

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          Abstract

          Quizartinib is an effective therapy for patients with FLT3-ITD acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by continuing to inhibit the activity of FLT3 gene, leading to apoptosis of tumor cells. Multiple clinical trials have proved that it is effective in relapsed or refractory AML with an FLT3-ITD mutation. In this review, we focus on the characteristics of FLT3/ITD mutations, the mechanism and pharmacokinetics of quizartinib, and the mechanisms of resistance to quizartinib. We also summarize clinical experiences and adverse effects with quizartinib and recommend crucial approaches of quizartinib in the therapy of patients with newly diagnosed AML and patients with relapsed/refractory AML, particularly those with FLT3-ITD mutation. Quizartinib presents its advantages as a very promising agent in the treatment of AML, especially in patients with FLT3-ITD mutations. FLT3/ITD mutation can lead to constitutive autophosphorylation of FLT3 and activation of its downstream effectors including RAS/RAF/MEK, MAPK/ERK, PI3K/AKT/mTOR and JAK/STAT5 signal pathways, while Quizartinib can inhibit these downstream pathways through specific FLT3 inhibition. Quizartinib has received US Food and Drug Administration breakthrough therapy designation in patients with relapsed/refractory FLT3-ITD AML based on clinical trials. A larger sample of clinical trials are needed to verify its safety and efficacy, and the efficacy of quizartinib combined with chemotherapy or allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation should also be estimated in clinical trials. Meanwhile, for the side effects of quizartinib, further studies are needed to find a way to reduce its toxicity.

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          Most cited references 45

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          Validation of ITD mutations in FLT3 as a therapeutic target in human acute myeloid leukaemia.

          Effective targeted cancer therapeutic development depends upon distinguishing disease-associated 'driver' mutations, which have causative roles in malignancy pathogenesis, from 'passenger' mutations, which are dispensable for cancer initiation and maintenance. Translational studies of clinically active targeted therapeutics can definitively discriminate driver from passenger lesions and provide valuable insights into human cancer biology. Activating internal tandem duplication (ITD) mutations in FLT3 (FLT3-ITD) are detected in approximately 20% of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients and are associated with a poor prognosis. Abundant scientific and clinical evidence, including the lack of convincing clinical activity of early FLT3 inhibitors, suggests that FLT3-ITD probably represents a passenger lesion. Here we report point mutations at three residues within the kinase domain of FLT3-ITD that confer substantial in vitro resistance to AC220 (quizartinib), an active investigational inhibitor of FLT3, KIT, PDGFRA, PDGFRB and RET; evolution of AC220-resistant substitutions at two of these amino acid positions was observed in eight of eight FLT3-ITD-positive AML patients with acquired resistance to AC220. Our findings demonstrate that FLT3-ITD can represent a driver lesion and valid therapeutic target in human AML. AC220-resistant FLT3 kinase domain mutants represent high-value targets for future FLT3 inhibitor development efforts.
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            Safety and preliminary efficacy of venetoclax with decitabine or azacitidine in elderly patients with previously untreated acute myeloid leukaemia: a non-randomised, open-label, phase 1b study.

            Elderly patients (aged ≥65 years) with acute myeloid leukaemia have poor outcomes and no effective standard-of-care therapy exists. Treatment with hypomethylating agents such as azacitidine and decitabine is common, but responses are modest and typically short-lived. The oral anti-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma 2 protein inhibitor, venetoclax, has shown promising single-agent activity in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukaemia and preclinical data suggested synergy between hypomethylating agents and venetoclax, which led to this combination phase 1b study.
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              Analysis of FLT3 length mutations in 1003 patients with acute myeloid leukemia: correlation to cytogenetics, FAB subtype, and prognosis in the AMLCG study and usefulness as a marker for the detection of minimal residual disease.

              FLT3 length mutation (FLT3-LM) is a molecular marker potentially useful for the characterization of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). To evaluate the distribution of FLT3-LM within biologic subgroups, we screened 1003 patients with AML at diagnosis for this mutation. FLT3-LM was found in 234 (23.5%) of all patients and thus is the most frequent mutation in AML described so far. Of all positive patients, 165 (70.5%) revealed a normal karyotype. Of the 69 patients with chromosome aberrations, 24 (34.8%) had a t(15;17). The mutation was rare in AML with t(8;21), inv(16) 11q23 rearrangements, and complex karyotypes. FLT3-LM was not distributed equally within different French-American-British (FAB) subtypes and was correlated with a high peripheral blood count in FAB M1, M2, and M4 (P <.0001). In addition, the median age of patients with the mutation was lower (54.9 vs 57.6 years; P =.043), and, at a ratio of 1.36:1 (P =.023), the mutation was more frequent in females than in males. Within the AMLCG study, FLT3-LM was of intermediate prognostic significance. The complete remission rate of 70.3% in patients with FLT3-LM was similar to that (70.4%) in patients without FLT3-LM. Overall survival was not different between patients with or without FLT3-LM. In contrast, patients with FLT3-LM had a significantly shorter event-free survival (7.4 vs 12.6 months; P =.0072) because of a higher relapse rate. Besides the importance of FLT3-LM for biologic and clinical characterization of AML, we show its value as a marker for disease monitoring based on 120 follow-up samples of 34 patients.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                DDDT
                dddt
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove
                1177-8881
                08 April 2019
                2019
                : 13
                : 1117-1125
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Hematology and Oncology (Key Department of Jiangsu Medicine), Zhongda Hospital, Medical School, Southeast University , Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Baoan ChenDepartment of Hematology and Oncology (Key Department of Jiangsu Medicine), Zhongda Hospital, Medical School, Southeast University , Dingjiaqiao 87, Gulou District, Nanjing210009, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86 258 327 2006Fax +86 258 327 2011Email cba8888@ 123456hotmail.com
                Article
                198950
                10.2147/DDDT.S198950
                6497874
                © 2019 Zhou et al.

                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. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 67, Pages: 9
                Categories
                Review

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