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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999 Jan 20;91(2):163-8.

In vivo eradication of human BCR/ABL-positive leukemia cells with an ABL kinase inhibitor.

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Department of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy.



The leukemia cells of approximately 95% of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and 30%-50% of adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia express the Bcr/Abl oncoprotein, which is the product of a fusion gene created by a chromosomal translocation [(9:22) (q34;q11)]. This oncoprotein expresses a constitutive tyrosine kinase activity that is crucial for its cellular transforming activity. In this study, we evaluated the antineoplastic activity of CGP57148B, which is a competitive inhibitor of the Bcr/Abl tyrosine kinase.


Nude mice were given an injection of the Bcr/Abl-positive human leukemia cell lines KU812 or MC3. Tumor-bearing mice were treated intraperitoneally or orally with CGP57148B according to three different schedules. In vitro drug wash-out experiments and in vivo molecular pharmacokinetic experiments were performed to optimize the in vivo treatment schedule.


Treatment schedules administering CGP57148B once or twice per day produced some inhibition of tumor growth, but no tumor-bearing mouse was cured. A single administration of CGP57148B caused substantial (>50%) but short-lived (2-5 hours) inhibition of Bcr/Abl kinase activity. On the basis of the results from in vitro wash-out experiments, 20-21 hours was defined as the duration of continuous exposure needed to block cell proliferation and to induce apoptosis in these two leukemia cell lines. A treatment regimen assuring the continuous block of the Bcr/Abl phosphorylating activity that was administered over an 11-day period cured 87%-100% of treated mice.


These data indicate that the continuous block of the oncogenic tyrosine kinase of Bcr/Abl protein is needed to produce important biologic effects in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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