Amifostine (WR-2721) shortens the engraftment period of 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide-purged bone marrow in breast cancer patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow support.
4-Hydroperoxycyclophosphamide (4-HC), a commonly used marrow-purging agent, is active against many tumors, but is also toxic to normal marrow progenitors. Amifostine (WR-2721) is a sulfhydryl compound with chemoprotectant activity. Preclinical studies using suspensions of bone marrow and breast cancer cells demonstrated that ex vivo treatment with amifostine followed by 4-HC resulted in protection of marrow progenitors, with no compromise in the antitumor effect of 4-HC. This fact stimulated the development of a clinical trial. Bone marrow was harvested from 15 poor-prognosis breast cancer patients and randomly assigned to ex vivo treatment with amifostine followed by 4-HC (amifostine + 4-HC), or treatment with 4-HC alone. High-dose chemotherapy was then administered followed by infusion of the purged autologous bone marrow support (ABMS). Leukocyte engraftment, defined as a white blood cell count > or = 1 x 10(9)/L, was achieved in an average of 26 days for patients whose marrow was purged with amifostine + 4-HC versus 36 days for patients whose marrow was purged with 4-HC alone (P = .032). The average number of platelet transfusions (12 v 29; P = .017) and days of antibiotic therapy (28 v 40; P = .012) were significantly less for patients whose marrow was exposed to amifostine + 4-HC, compared with 4-HC alone. Unpurged backup marrow fractions were infused into three patients whose marrow was purged with 4-HC alone, because of inadequate marrow recovery. None of the patients who received amifostine + 4-HC-purged marrow required a backup marrow fraction. Complete remissions were achieved in 83% of patients with measurable disease, with no difference between the two cohorts. Forty-three percent of patients remained alive and progression-free at a mean of 13 months posttransplant. There was no significant difference in the rate or pattern of relapse for patients whose marrow was purged with amifostine + 4-HC compared with those whose marrow was purged with 4-HC alone. Ex vivo treatment of marrow with amifostine significantly shortens the time to marrow recovery, thereby reducing the risk of myelosuppressive complications in breast cancer patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy and 4-HC-purged ABMS. Since supportive care requirements are also significantly decreased, amifostine may reduce the cost of such therapy.
Shpall, EJ; Stemmer, SM; Hami, L; Franklin, WA; Shaw, L; Bonner, HS; Bearman, SI; Peters, WP; Bast, RC; McCulloch, W
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