Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Invest. 2015 Mar 2;125(3):1043-55. doi: 10.1172/JCI78789. Epub 2015 Jan 26.

Evaluation of noncytotoxic DNMT1-depleting therapy in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mutational inactivation in cancer of key apoptotic pathway components, such as TP53/p53, undermines cytotoxic therapies that aim to increase apoptosis. Accordingly, TP53 mutations are reproducibly associated with poor treatment outcomes. Moreover, cytotoxic treatments destroy normal stem cells with intact p53 systems, a problem especially for myeloid neoplasms, as these cells reverse the low blood counts that cause morbidity and death. Preclinical studies suggest that noncytotoxic concentrations of the DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) inhibitor decitabine produce p53-independent cell-cycle exits by reversing aberrant epigenetic repression of proliferation-terminating (MYC-antagonizing) differentiation genes in cancer cells.

METHODS:

In this clinical trial, patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (n=25) received reduced decitabine dosages (0.1-0.2 mg/kg/day compared with the FDA-approved 20-45 mg/m2/day dosage, a 75%-90% reduction) to avoid cytotoxicity. These well-tolerated doses were frequently administered 1-3 days per week, instead of pulse cycled for 3 to 5 days over a 4- to 6-week period, to increase the probability that cancer S-phase entries would coincide with drug exposure, which is required for S-phase-dependent DNMT1 depletion.

RESULTS:

The median subject age was 73 years (range, 46-85 years), 9 subjects had relapsed disease or were refractory to 5-azacytidine and/or lenalidomide, and 3 had received intensive chemoradiation to treat other cancers. Adverse events were related to neutropenia present at baseline: neutropenic fever (13 of 25 subjects) and septic death (1 of 25 subjects). Blood count improvements meeting the International Working Group criteria for response occurred in 11 of 25 (44%) subjects and were highly durable. Treatment-induced freedom from transfusion lasted a median of 1,025 days (range, 186-1,152 days; 3 ongoing), and 20% of subjects were treated for more than 3 years. Mutations and/or deletions of key apoptosis genes were frequent (present in 55% of responders and in 36% of nonresponders). Noncytotoxic DNMT1 depletion was confirmed by serial BM γ-H2AX (DNA repair/damage marker) and DNMT1 analyses. MYC master oncoprotein levels were markedly decreased.

CONCLUSION:

Decitabine regimens can be redesigned to minimize cytotoxicity and increase exposure time for DNMT1 depletion, to safely and effectively circumvent mutational apoptotic defects.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01165996.

FUNDING:

NIH (R01CA138858, CA043703); Department of Defense (PR081404); Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) (UL1RR024989); and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (Translational Research Program).

PMID:
25621498
PMCID:
PMC4362268
DOI:
10.1172/JCI78789
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Society for Clinical Investigation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center