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Ann Pharmacother. 1997 May;31(5):616-24.

Pegaspargase: an alternative?

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1
Baptist Medical Center, San Antonio, TX 78205, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical activity, adverse effects, dosage, and administration guidelines for pegaspargase.

DATA SOURCES:

A MEDLINE search (1980-1996), a CANCERLIT search (1983-1996), and a CURRENT CONTENTS search (1980-1996) using the terms pegaspargase, PEG-asparaginase, PEG-L-asparaginase, polyethylene glycol L-asparaginase, polyethylene glycol conjugated L-asparaginase, and Oncaspar were conducted.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION:

All articles were considered for possible inclusion in this review. Abstracts were included only when they were judged to add critical information not otherwise available in the medical literature.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

L-Asparaginase has been a main component of treatment regimens for acute lymphocytic leukemia. A key limiting factor of L-asparaginase use has been the development of hypersensitivity to the drug. Recently, a polyethylene glycol (PEG) conjugated form of L-asparaginase, pegaspargase, has been made available. PEG modification of L-asparaginase has been shown to alter the tendency of the enzyme to induce an immune response and to extend the half-life of the drug. The majority of patients with hypersensitivity to the native enzyme preparations tolerate pegaspargase without further clinical hypersensitivity. The adverse effect profile of pegaspargase is similar to that of the native forms of L-asparaginase. The recommended dosage of pegaspargase is 2500 IU/m2 administered by intramuscular or intravenous injection every 2 weeks in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pegaspargase is a safe, effective alternative to L-asparaginase in patients who have had clinical hypersensitivity reactions to both Escherichia coli- and Erwinia carotovora-derived L-asparaginase. However, pegaspargase should not be routinely substituted for L-asparaginase.

PMID:
9161659
DOI:
10.1177/106002809703100517
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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