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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2009 Nov;18(11):1727-34. doi: 10.1517/13543780903282759.

Darinaparsin: a novel organic arsenical with promising anticancer activity.

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McGill University, SMBD Jewish General Hospital, Segal Cancer Centre, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Montreal, QC H3T 1E2, Canada.


Darinaparsin is an organic arsenical composed of dimethylated arsenic linked to glutathione, and is being investigated for antitumor properties in vitro and in vivo. While other arsenicals, including arsenic trioxide, have been used clinically, none have shown significant activity in malignancies outside of acute promyelocytic leukemia. Darinaparsin has significant activity in a broad spectrum of hematologic and solid tumors in preclinical models. Here, we review the literature describing the signaling pathways and mechanisms of action of darinaparsin and compare them to mechanisms of cell death induced by arsenic trioxide. Darinaparsin has overlapping, but distinct, signaling mechanisms. We also review the current results of clinical trials with darinaparsin (both intravenous and oral formulations) that demonstrate significant antitumor activity.

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