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Eur J Haematol. 2009 Aug;83(2):108-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2009.01252.x. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Depletion of L-ascorbic acid alternating with its supplementation in the treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes.

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1
Cancer Center and Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. bkimler@kumc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

L-ascorbic acid (LAA) modifies the in vitro growth of leukemic cells from approximately 50% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). To test the hypothesis that depletion of LAA, alternating with supplementation to prevent scurvy, would provide therapeutic benefit, a single-arm pilot trial was conducted (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00329498). Experimental results: During depletion phase, patients with refractory AML or MDS were placed on a diet deficient in LAA; during supplementation phase, patients received daily intravenous administration of LAA. An in vitro assay was performed pretherapy for LAA sensitivity of leukemic cells from individual patients.

RESULTS:

Of 18 patients enrolled, eight of 16 evaluable patients demonstrated a clinical response. Responses were obtained during depletion (four patients) as well as during supplementation (five patients) but at a pharmacologic plasma level achievable only with intravenous administration. Of nine patients for whom the in vitro assay indicated their leukemic cells were sensitive to LAA, seven exhibited a clinical response; compared with none of six patients who were insensitive to LAA.

CONCLUSIONS:

The clinical benefit, along with a conspicuous absence of significant adverse events, suggests that further testing of LAA depletion alternating with pharmacologic dose intravenous supplementation in patients with these and other malignancies is warranted.

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