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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2009 Jan;9(1):111-9. doi: 10.1517/14712590802586058 .

Pegasparaginase: where do we stand?

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Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Department of Medicine, Buffalo, New York 14263, USA.


The use of unmodified asparaginases (ASP) in the management of pediatric and adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is well established. Despite its well-proven clinical efficacy, the use of unmodified Escherichia coli ASP (EC-ASP) has been limited by frequent toxicities, especially the development of hypersensitivity reactions and neutralizing antibodies, and by the need for frequent administration. To overcome these limitations, EC-ASP enzyme was covalently linked to monomethoxypolyethylene glycol (PEG), forming the pegylated ASP (PEG-ASP) (Oncaspar). PEG-ASP has a prolonged half-life and is associated with decreased immunogenicity when compared with EC-ASP. Clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy, safety and tolerability of PEG-ASP administered intramuscularly, subcutaneously or intravenously as part of multi-agent chemotherapy regimens in the management of newly diagnosed and relapsed pediatric and adult ALL. Here we discuss the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical trial results and potential side effects of PEG-ASP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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