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Blood. 2007 Jan 15;109(2):399-404. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Flavopiridol administered using a pharmacologically derived schedule is associated with marked clinical efficacy in refractory, genetically high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Despite promising preclinical studies with the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor flavopiridol in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and other diseases, previous clinical trials with this agent have been disappointing. The discovery of differential protein binding of flavopiridol in human and bovine serum contributed to an effective pharmacokinetic-derived schedule of administration of this agent. On the basis of pharmacokinetic modeling using our in vitro results and data from a previous trial, we initiated a phase 1 study using a 30-minute loading dose followed by 4 hours of infusion administered weekly for 4 of 6 weeks in patients with refractory CLL. A group of 42 patients were enrolled on 3 cohorts (cohort 1, 30 mg/m2 loading dose followed by 30 mg/m2 4-hour infusion; cohort 2, 40 mg/m2 loading dose followed by 40 mg/m2 4-hour infusion; and cohort 3, cohort 1 dose for treatments 1 to 4, then a 30 mg/m2 loading dose followed by a 50 mg/m2 4-hour infusion). The dose-limiting toxicity using this novel schedule was hyperacute tumor lysis syndrome. Aggressive prophylaxis and exclusion of patients with leukocyte counts greater than 200x10(9)/L have made this drug safe to administer at the cohort 3 dose. Of the 42 patients treated, 19 (45%) achieved a partial response with a median response duration that exceeds 12 months. Responses were noted in patients with genetically high-risk disease, including 5 (42%) of 12 patients with del(17p13.1) and 13 (72%) of 18 patients with del(11q22.3). Flavopiridol administered using this novel schedule has significant clinical activity in refractory CLL. Patients with bulky disease and high-risk genetic features have achieved durable responses, thereby justifying further study of flavopiridol in CLL and other diseases.

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