Publications by authors named "Anna Aleskog"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Screening for cytotoxic compounds in poor-prognostic chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Anticancer Res 2012 Aug;32(8):3125-36

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background/aim: For chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with poor-prognostic genomic aberrations the therapeutic options are limited. We used the Spectrum Collection library to identify compounds with anti-leukemia activity in high-risk CLL.

Materials And Methods: We identified substances with equal high cytotoxic activity in vitro in samples from poor-prognostic CLL (11q-/17p-, n=3) as compared to those from favourable-prognostic CLL (13q-, n=3). Cell survival was measured by fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay.

Results: Out of 2,000 compounds, 65 had a similar effect in both prognostic groups. Fifteen compounds were selected for dose-response experiments in 16 additional CLL samples. Of these compounds, 12 continued to have similar cytotoxicity between prognostic subgroups. Additional experiments demonstrated that in CLL cells with 11q or 17p deletion, 5-azacytidine induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner and lipoprotein lipase expression was reduced following orlistat treatment.

Conclusion: Using primary cultures of cells from high-risk CLL patients for compound screening is a feasible approach and that 5-azacytidine and orlistat exemplify substances that exhibit cytotoxicity in poor-risk CLL.
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August 2012

In vitro evaluation of clinical activity and toxicity of anticancer drugs using tumor cells from patients and cells representing normal tissues.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2012 Mar 9;69(3):697-707. Epub 2011 Oct 9.

Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate a phenotypic cell panel with tumor cells from various patients and normal cells for preclinical profiles of antitumor efficacy and toxicity of anticancer drugs.

Methods: The antitumor activity of fourteen anticancer drugs was tested in over one hundred tumor samples from patients with solid or hematological malignancies. Drug activity against four normal cell types was used for the assessment of normal tissue toxicity. In vitro activity of the drugs was compared with indications approved by the Food and Drug Administration and established adverse event profiles.

Results: In general, in vitro drug activity in tumor cells from patients reflected known clinical activity of the drugs investigated. For example, the clinical activity of imatinib in chronic myeloid leukemia was clearly detected in the tumor panel. Further, and in accordance with clinical use, cisplatin and bortezomib showed high activity in ovarian cancer and myeloma samples, respectively. The normal cell models roughly reflected known clinical toxicity profiles and were able to detect differences in therapeutic index, e.g., between targeted drugs and classical cytotoxic agents. For example, the high tolerability of imatinib and the well-known renal toxicity of cisplatin were demonstrated.

Conclusions: In preclinical drug development, primary tumor cells from patients can be used for the prediction of cancer diagnosis-specific activity and may aid in the selection of diagnoses for clinical trials. By using tumor and toxicity panels together, information about therapeutic index may be derived, which may be useful when choosing among drug candidates with similar tumor effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-011-1746-1DOI Listing
March 2012

Identification of AKN-032, a novel 2-aminopyrazine tyrosine kinase inhibitor, with significant preclinical activity in acute myeloid leukemia.

Biochem Pharmacol 2010 Nov 10;80(10):1507-16. Epub 2010 Aug 10.

Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Aberrant signal transduction by mutant or overexpressed protein kinases has emerged as a promising target for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We here present a novel low molecular weight kinase inhibitor, AKN-032, targeting the FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) and discovered in a new type of screening funnel combining the target therapy approach with sequential cellular screens. AKN-032 was identified among 150 selected hits from three different high throughput kinase screens. Further characterization showed inhibitory activity on FLT3 enzyme with an IC(50) of 70 nM. Western blot analysis revealed reduced autophosphorylation of the FLT3-receptor in AML cell line MV4-11 cells after exposure to AKN-032. Flow cytometry disclosed cytotoxic activity against MV4-11, but not against non-malignant 3T3-L1 fibroblast cells. Using a fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay, AKN-032 was tested against 15 cell lines and displayed a potent cytotoxic activity in AML cell lines MV4-11 (IC(50)=0.4 μM) and Kasumi-1 (IC(50)=2.3 μM). AKN-032 was also highly cytotoxic in tumor cells from AML patients in vitro. Furthermore, AKN-032 demonstrated significant antileukemic effect in a relatively resistant in vivo hollow fiber mouse model. No major toxicity was observed in the animals. In conclusion, AKN-032 is a promising new kinase inhibitor with significant in vivo and in vitro activity in AML. Results from the hollow fiber mouse assay suggest a favorable toxicity profile. Future studies will focus on pharmacokinetic properties, toxicity as well as further clarifying the mechanisms of action of AKN-032 in AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2010.08.002DOI Listing
November 2010

The FMCA-GM assays, high throughput non-clonogenic alternatives to CFU-GM in preclinical hematotoxicity testing.

Toxicol Lett 2010 May 16;194(3):102-7. Epub 2010 Feb 16.

Department of Medical Sciences (Division of Clinical Pharmacology), Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

One of the most common dose limiting adverse effects in cancer treatment is myelotoxicity. The aim of this study was to develop an in vitro method for measuring potential myelotoxic properties of a drug candidate in a high throughput setting. Human CD34(+) progenitor cells from umbilical cord blood were plated in 384-well microplates with drugs in liquid culture, supplemented with specific cytokines for the granulocytopoietic-macrophage lineage. After 7 or 14 days of proliferation and differentiation the cells were analyzed using the automated non-clonogenic fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay (FMCA). Two types of assays setups were evaluated, the FMCA-GM7 where cells were exposed to drugs directly after thawing and cytotoxicity measured on day 7 in contrast to the FMCA-GM14 where the cells were cultured 7 days prior to plating and drug exposure, with viability analysis on day 14 of differentiation. Drug sensitivity was similar in both assays and method validation was performed using 24 drugs with known myelotoxic profile (acyclovir, bortezomib, busulfan, carboplatin, chloramphenicol, chlorpromazine, cisplatin, cytarabine, clozapine, doxorubicin, erlotinib, etoposide, 5-fluorouracil, fludarabine, gefitinib, gemcitabine, hydroxyurea, imatinib, lomustine, melphalan, sorafenib, sunitinib, taxol and 6-thioguanine). The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)) from the FMCA-GM7 and the FMCA-GM14 correlated highly (r = 0.83) and (r = 0.82), respectively, with IC(50) from the established clonogenic assay (CFU-GM), obtained from the literature. The current data suggests that the FMCA-GM could offer a simple and robust alternative to the CFU-GM assay in preclinical hematotoxicity studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.02.006DOI Listing
May 2010

IGHV3-21 gene usage is associated with high TCL1 expression in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Eur J Haematol 2010 Feb 3;84(2):109-16. Epub 2009 Nov 3.

Dept of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.

T-cell leukemia/lymphoma protein 1 (TCL1) was recently shown to display an expression pattern in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) corresponding to molecular subtypes, where poor-risk patients demonstrated higher expression levels. Here, we examined the mRNA expression pattern of TCL1 in 144 patients with CLL, including 67 immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable (IGHV) mutated, 58 IGHV unmutated and 19 patients with IGHV3-21 usage. A higher TCL1 expression level was detected in patients with CLL with unmutated vs. mutated IGHV genes (P < 0.001), whereas no difference was demonstrated within the IGHV3-21 cohort (i.e., mutated vs. unmutated and stereotyped vs. non-stereotyped complementarity determining region 3). The IGHV3-21 subgroup displayed high TCL1 mRNA expression, differing significantly from other IGHV mutated cases (P < 0.001), although 11/19 had mutated IGHV genes. Furthermore, high TCL1 expression levels were associated with significantly shorter overall survival (P < 0.001). Altogether, we show that TCL1 mRNA expression may predict clinical outcome in CLL and that the IGHV3-21 subset, regardless of mutational status, displays high TCL1 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2009.01369.xDOI Listing
February 2010

Lack of association between the MDM2 promoter polymorphism SNP309 and clinical outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Leuk Res 2010 Mar 1;34(3):335-9. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.

The 309T>G polymorphism in the promoter region of the MDM2 gene, known as SNP309, has recently been suggested as an unfavorable prognostic marker in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) although this has been questioned. To investigate this further, we analyzed the MDM2 SNP309 genotypes in 418 CLL patients and correlated the results with established CLL prognostic factors, time to treatment and overall survival. In this Swedish cohort, no association existed between any particular MDM2 SNP309 genotype, overall survival and time to treatment. Furthermore, no correlation was shown between the MDM2 SNP309 genotypes and Binet stage, IGHV mutational status and recurrent genomic aberrations. In summary, this study argues against the use of the MDM2 SNP309 as a prognostic marker in CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2009.06.006DOI Listing
March 2010

In vitro activity of 20 agents in different prognostic subgroups of chronic lymphocytic leukemia--rolipram and prednisolone active in cells from patients with poor prognosis.

Eur J Haematol 2009 Jul 24;83(1):22-34. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: There is a need for development of new drugs for treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), especially for poor-prognostic subgroups resistant to conventional therapy.

Objective: The in vitro antileukemic activity of 20 different anticancer agents was characterized in tumor cells from CLL, aiming at identifying agents active in poor-prognostic subgroups.

Design And Methods: In tumor cells from 40 CLL patients and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from three healthy controls, the activity of 20 substances was assessed using a non-clonogenic assay. The CLL samples were characterized regarding genomic aberrations by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable (IGHV) gene mutational status.

Results: In line with clinical experience, cells from patients with unfavourable genomic aberrations [del(11q)/del(17p)] showed lower drug sensitivity to fludarabine and chlorambucil than cells from patients with favourable cytogenetics [del(13q)/no aberration]. Most investigated drugs demonstrated similar activity in CLL cells from patients with unmutated and mutated IGHV genes as well as in CLL cells vs. PBMC. Interestingly, prednisolone and rolipram displayed high CLL specificity, high activity in CLL cells with unmutated IGHV genes and retained the effect in several cases with 11q/17p deletion. Further studies on prednisolone and rolipram revealed a synergy when these agents were combined in CLL cells, and suggested correlation between drug sensitivity and difference in downstream signaling.

Conclusion: Prednisolone and rolipram are interesting for further studies in CLL with inferior prognosis. The study can also be considered a basis for future efforts to find drugs active in subsets of CLL patients that are resistant to conventional therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2009.01248.xDOI Listing
July 2009

Rapamycin shows anticancer activity in primary chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells in vitro, as single agent and in drug combination.

Leuk Lymphoma 2008 Dec;49(12):2333-43

Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

The mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor rapamycin and its analogues show promising anticancer activity in various experimental tumor models and are presently evaluated in clinical trials. We, here, evaluated the in vitro activity of rapamycin with regard to tumor-type specificity and possible mechanisms of drug resistance in 97 tumor cell samples from patients and in a resistance-based cell line panel, using the fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay. Rapamycin was dose-dependently cytotoxic in patient tumor cells and in cell lines. In primary cells, rapamycin was more active in hematological than in solid tumor samples, with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphocytic leukemia being the most sensitive tumor types. Considerable inter-individual differences in sensitivity were apparent among CLL samples, but no difference was observed between IGHV mutated and unmutated CLL samples, whereas a tendency to lower rapamycin sensitivity was indicated for samples displaying poor-prognostic genomic markers. Combination experiments in CLL cells indicated that rapamycin acted synergistically with vincristine, cisplatin, chlorambucil and taxotere. These results and the clinically-experienced good tolerance to rapamycin analogues encourage clinical studies of rapamycin in CLL treatment as single agent but also in combination with, e.g., vincristine and chlorambucil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428190802475295DOI Listing
December 2008

In vitro activity of bortezomib in cultures of patient tumour cells--potential utility in haematological malignancies.

Med Oncol 2009 18;26(2):193-201. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University Hospital, entr 61, 4th floor, SE-751 85, Uppsala, Sweden.

Bortezomib represents a new class of anti-cancer drugs, the proteasome inhibitors. We evaluated the in vitro activity of bortezomib with regard to tumour-type specificity and possible mechanisms of drug resistance in 115 samples of tumour cells from patients and in a cell-line panel, using the short-term fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay. Bortezomib generally showed dose-response curves with a steep slope. In patient cells, bortezomib was more active in haematological than in solid tumour samples. Myeloma and chronic myeloid leukaemia were the most sensitive tumour types although with great variability in drug response between the individual samples. Colorectal and kidney cancer samples were the least sensitive. In the cell-line panel, only small differences in response were seen between the different cell lines, and the proteasome inhibitors, lactacystin and MG 262, showed an activity pattern similar to that of bortezomib. The cell-line data suggest that resistance to bortezomib was not mediated by MRP-, PgP, GSH-; tubulin and topo II-associated MDR. Combination experiments indicated synergy between bortezomib and arsenic trioxide or irinotecan. The data support the current use of bortezomib but also points to its potential utility in other tumour types and in combination with cytotoxic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-008-9107-6DOI Listing
July 2009

Significant cytotoxic activity in vitro of the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib in acute myeloblastic leukaemia.

Eur J Haematol 2008 Nov 10;81(5):344-53. Epub 2008 Jul 10.

Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

Objectives: Gefitinib inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling, but may also act by non-EGFR dependent mechanisms. We have investigated the activity of gefitinib in haematological tumour cells, in particular acute myeloblastic leukaemia (AML).

Methods: Cytotoxic activity of gefitinib, alone or in combination with standard anti-leukaemic drugs, was assessed by the short-term fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay in tumour cells from 117 patients representing five haematological and five non-haematological malignancies. In AML, the EGFR status was analysed by immunochemistry. Gefitinib-induced apoptosis was investigated in a subset of AML samples, as well as in the leukaemia cell line MV-4-11, using a multiparametric high content screening assay. To confirm activation of caspase-3 in cells treated with gefitinib, a blocking test was carried out in which MV4-11 cells were pretreated with the specific caspase inhibitor DEVD-FMK.

Results: Gefitinib showed highest cytotoxic activity in AML (n = 19) with many samples being sensitive at concentrations achievable in clinical practice (<10 microM), and no difference between previously untreated and relapsed patients. No correlation between the activity of gefitinib and standard antileukaemic drugs (cytarabine, doxorubicin, etoposide) was observed. Combining gefitinib with these drugs resulted in mainly additive or synergistic (etoposide) effects, with no evidence of sequence dependency. The AML cells did not express the EGFR. Gefitinib induced apoptosis, which was at least partly mediated by activation of the caspase-3 pathway.

Conclusion: In vitro, gefitinib has significant cytotoxic activity in AML by inducing apoptosis through non-EGFR dependent pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2008.01120.xDOI Listing
November 2008

The GNAS1 T393C polymorphism and lack of clinical prognostic value in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Leuk Res 2008 Jun 19;32(6):984-7. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a clinically heterogeneous disease with no known single predisposing genetic factor shown in all cases. Recently, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) T393C in the GNAS1 gene has been reported to have a clinical impact on CLL progression and overall survival. In order to further investigate the T393C SNP in CLL, we have genotyped 279 CLL cases and correlated the genotypes to clinical outcome and other known prognostic factors such as the immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV) gene mutation status and CD38 expression. In the present study, no difference in overall survival or time to treatment was observed in the CLL patients with the different genotypes in contrast to the previous report. Furthermore, no correlation was observed with the T393C genotypes and IGHV mutational status, Binet stage or CD38 in this cohort. In summary, our data does not support the use of the T393C GNAS SNP as a clinical prognostic factor in CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2007.10.003DOI Listing
June 2008

Pharmacological profiling of novel non-COX-inhibiting indole-pyran analogues of etodolac reveals high solid tumour activity of SDX-308 in vitro.

Invest New Drugs 2007 Aug 18;25(4):297-303. Epub 2007 Apr 18.

Uppsala University Hospital, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.

SDX-308 and SDX-309 are potent indole-pyran analogues of SDX-101 (R-etodolac) which has anti-tumour activity unrelated to cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition. Their cytotoxic activity was further studied herein using a well-characterized human tumour cell-line panel containing ten cell lines, as well as in 58 primary tumour cell samples from a variety of diagnoses. The indole-pyran analogues of SDX-101 were in general considerably more active in both cancer cell lines and primary tumour samples. Low cross-reactivity with standard agents was observed, indicating a unique mechanism of action. No apparent influence on efficacy was observed via classical mechanisms of multidrug-resistance. SDX-101 and SDX-309 showed higher relative activity in haematological compared to solid tumour samples, while SDX-308 had pronounced solid-tumour activity. High SDX-308 cytotoxic efficacy was observed in non-small cell lung cancer, renal cancer and ovarian cancer samples, and also in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. In conclusion, the indole-pyran analogues showed a favourable pharmacological profile and represent a potentially important new class of drugs for cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-007-9049-4DOI Listing
August 2007

Telomere length and correlation with histopathogenesis in B-cell leukemias/lymphomas.

Eur J Haematol 2007 Apr 5;78(4):283-9. Epub 2007 Feb 5.

Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Telomere length was recently reported to correlate with cellular origin of B-cell malignancies in relation to the germinal center (GC). In this report, we measured telomere length by quantitative-PCR in 223 B-cell lymphomas/leukemias and correlated results with immunoglobulin (Ig) mutation status and immunostainings for GC/non-GC subtypes of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Shortest telomeres were found in Ig-unmutated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) [median telomere to single copy gene value (T/S) 0.33], differing significantly to Ig-mutated CLL (0.63). Contrary to this, mantle cell lymphomas (MCLs) exhibited similar telomere lengths regardless of Ig mutation status (0.47). Telomere length differed significantly between GC-like (0.73) and non-GC-like DLBCLs (0.43), and follicular lymphomas (FLs) had shorter telomeres (0.53) than GC-DLBCL. Hairy cell leukemias, which display Ig gene intraclonal heterogeneity, had longer telomeres (0.62) than FLs and non-GC-DLBCL, but shorter than GC-DLBCL. We conclude that although DLBCL and CLL subsets can be clearly distinguished, telomere length reflects many parameters and may not simply correlate with GC-related origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2007.00817.xDOI Listing
April 2007

R-etodolac (SDX-101) and the related indole-pyran analogues SDX-308 and SDX-309 potentiate the antileukemic activity of standard cytotoxic agents in primary chronic lymphocytic leukaemia cells.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2007 Sep 22;60(4):545-53. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Objective: SDX-101 is the non-cyclooxygenase 2-inhibiting R-enantiomer of the non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug etodolac, and has anti-tumour activity in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). SDX-308 and SDX-309 are more potent, structurally related indole-pyran analogues of SDX-101. The current study was performed to investigate and quantify the cytotoxic potentiating effects resulting from a combination of either SDX-101, SDX-308 or SDX-309 with standard cytotoxic agents used in the CLL treatment today.

Methods: The lymphoma cell line U937-gtb was used, together with primary tumour cells isolated from seven CLL patients. Combinations between chlorambucil and each one of the agents etodolac, SDX-101, SDX-308 and SDX-309 were studied. In addition, SDX-309 was combined with fludarabine, doxorubicin or vincristine. Both simultaneous and sequential exposures were explored using the median-effect method.

Results: Most combinations were additive, which could be of clinical benefit since SDX-101 has been shown to be well tolerated. At the 70% effect level, synergy was observed between SDX-308 and chlorambucil in U937-gtb cells and in two-third of the CLL samples. Since chlorambucil is the most important drug in CLL therapy today and SDX-308 is presently targeted as the lead clinical candidate, this combination would be interesting for further studies. Vincristine and SDX-309 were synergistic in two-fourth of CLL samples.

Conclusions: To conclude, the non-COX-inhibiting etodolac-derivatives SDX-101, SDX-308 and SDX-309 are potential candidates for combination treatment of CLL. Especially, SDX-308 in combination with chlorambucil warrants further evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-006-0400-9DOI Listing
September 2007

Imatinib activity in vitro in tumor cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase and blast crisis.

Anticancer Drugs 2006 Jul;17(6):631-9

Department of Hematology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

The aims of this study were to evaluate the feasibility of using the non-clonogenic fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay in drug sensitivity testing of tumor cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. In nine samples (six chronic phase, three blast crisis), the drug sensitivities in tumor cells from blood versus from bone marrow and fresh tumor cells versus cryopreserved were compared. In 26 samples obtained in chronic phase (pretreatment), in six samples from patients in blast crisis and in the K 562 cell line, the activity of imatinib alone and in combination with cytarabine, vincristine, daunorubicin, interferon, arsenic trioxide and homoharringtonine was evaluated. All chronic myeloid leukemia chronic phase samples were sensitive to imatinib, with a mean IC50 at 10.3 mumol/l. The chronic myeloid leukemia samples from blast crisis (n=6) were significantly more sensitive to imatinib than the samples from chronic phase (n=26) (P<0.05), with an IC50 mean at 0.4 mumol/l. In blast crisis samples, significant positive interaction effects were observed between imatinib and all other tested drugs except for interferon. In chronic phase samples, interferon, daunorubicin and arsenic trioxide were the drugs with the highest frequency of positive interactions with imatinib (P<0.05). We conclude that the fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay may be a useful method for drug sensitivity testing in chronic myeloid leukemia patient samples from both chronic phase and blast crisis, and that testing primary tumor cells may have advantages over cell line studies. Imatinib shows a higher in vitro activity and more positive drug interactions in cells from blast crisis than chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia patients. Combinations between imatinib and interferon, daunorubicin and arsenic trioxide may be interesting for future clinical trials in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia chronic phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.cad.0000217423.59831.dbDOI Listing
July 2006

In vitro activity of the flt3-inhibitor su5614 and standard cytotoxic agents in tumour cells from patients with wild type and mutated flt3 acute myeloid leukaemia.

Leuk Res 2005 Sep 15;29(9):1079-81. Epub 2005 Apr 15.

Department of Medical Sciences (Haematology), Uppsala University Hospital, S-75185 Uppsala, Sweden.

The correlation between drug sensitivity in vitro and the mutation status of the FLT3 receptor gene was evaluated in tumour cells from 17 previously untreated AML patients. Tumour cells with internal tandem duplication (ITD) in the FLT3 receptor gene were significantly more sensitive to the FLT3 inhibitor SU5614 than tumour cells with wild type FLT3. Combinations of SU5614 with etoposide and amsacrine showed better effect (p<0.05) compared with the respective single drugs. Our results suggest that the FLT3 inhibitor SU5614 may have a therapeutic potential, especially in combination with other cytotoxic agents, in patients with FLT3-ITD positive AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2005.02.017DOI Listing
September 2005

In vitro activity of imatinib in cells from patients with adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Anticancer Drugs 2005 Jul;16(6):631-4

Department of Medical Sciences, Division of Internal Medicine, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.

We evaluated the in vitro activity of imatinib on BCR-ABL-positive and -negative tumor cells from patients with adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and investigated in vitro interactions between imatinib and conventional agents. A non-clonogenic cytotoxicity assay was used to analyze p190 BCR-ABL-positive (n = 4), p210 BCR-ABL-positive (n = 2) and BCR-ABL-negative (n = 9) tumor cells from adult ALL patients. The in vitro cytotoxic effect of imatinib was studied alone, and in combination with the cytotoxic agents cytarabine, prednisolone, vincristine, daunorubicin, asparaginase and mercaptopurine. The BCR-ABL-positive samples were significantly (p < 0.05) more sensitive to imatinib than the BCR-ABL-negative at the concentrations 0.1, 1 and 10 muM. Interestingly, the two p210 samples were somewhat less sensitive to imatinib than the p190 samples. Daunorubicin, prednisolone and cytarabine showed the largest benefit from combination with imatinib compared to the most active single agent. The study confirms that drug sensitivity to imatinib is specific for BCR-ABL-positive samples. The results also suggest that combinations between imatinib and daunorubicin, predisolone or cytarabine may be advantageous for the treatment of Philadelphia-positive ALL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00001813-200507000-00007DOI Listing
July 2005

Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia with mutated VH genes presenting with Binet stage B or C form a subgroup with a poor outcome.

Haematologica 2005 Apr;90(4):465-9

Dept. of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background And Objectives: The immunoglobulin VH gene mutation status is a strong prognostic indicator in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), since unmutated VH genes are correlated with short survival. However, the traditional cut-off level dividing mutated and unmutated cases, i.e. more or less than 2% mutations, has been questioned and other cut-offs have been suggested. We investigated whether an alternative cut-off should be applied and the relation of mutational status to another prognostic marker, Binet staging.

Design And Methods: VH gene mutation status was assessed in 332 CLL cases by polymerase chain reaction amplification and nucleotide sequencing and was further correlated with overall survival using different VH mutation cut-offs (1-7%) and Binet stage.

Results: After testing different mutation borders, the 2% cut-off remained the best discriminative level for determining prognosis. Interestingly, prognostic stratification was improved by combining the information on VH gene mutation status with that of Binet stage: unmutated cases (all stages, n=151, mutated cases with stage A (n=77), and mutated cases with stage B or C (n=37) had a median survival of 82, 179 and 74 months, respectively.

Interpretation And Conclusions: CLL cases displaying mutated VH genes with Binet stage B or C had a survival similar to that of unmutated cases and significantly shorter than that of mutated stage A CLL. Our result reveals clinical heterogeneity within the VH mutated CLL group by inclusion of Binet stage data, a finding which is of importance when considering surrogate marker(s) for VH mutation status.
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April 2005

Telomere length as a prognostic parameter in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with special reference to VH gene mutation status.

Blood 2005 Jun 3;105(12):4807-12. Epub 2005 Mar 3.

Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology, Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden.

B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) consists of 2 prognostic entities where cases with mutated immunoglobulin V(H) genes have better outcome than unmutated cases. V(H)-mutated CLLs display longer telomeres compared with unmutated cases and telomere length has been indicated to predict outcome, although the prognostic value of telomere length has not been fully established in CLL. We analyzed telomere length, V(H) gene mutation status, and clinical parameters in a large series of CLL. Telomere length was assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), giving a very good correlation to telomere length estimated by Southern blotting (P < .001). The prognostic information given by mutation status (n = 282) and telomere length (n = 246) was significant (P < .001, respectively). Telomere length was a prognostic factor for stage A (P = .021) and stage B/C (P = .018) patients, whereas mutation status predicted outcome only in stage A patients (P < .001). Furthermore, mutated CLLs were subdivided by telomere length into 2 groups with different prognoses (P = .003), a subdivision not seen for unmutated cases (P = .232). Interestingly, the V(H)-mutated group with short telomeres had an overall survival close to that of the unmutated cases. Thus, by combining V(H) mutation status and telomere length, an improved subclassification of CLL was achieved identifying previously unrecognized patient groups with different outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2004-11-4394DOI Listing
June 2005

In vitro drug resistance in B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a comparison with acute myelocytic and acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Anticancer Drugs 2005 Mar;16(3):277-83

Department of Medical Sciences, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

The aim of the study was to evaluate cellular drug resistance in B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) in vitro, and compare it with that in acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) and acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). In vitro drug resistance was analyzed by the fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay (FMCA) in all samples from patients with leukemia sent to our laboratory between 1992 and 2001. Up to 14 standard drugs were evaluated in samples from 66 patients with B-CLL, 212 patients with AML and 80 patients with ALL. B-CLL cells were found to be more sensitive than cells from both AML and ALL to cytarabine, cladribine, fludarabine, doxorubicin, idarubicin, vincristine and cyclophosphamide (p<0.05). No difference in cellular drug resistance was found between B-CLL and ALL cells for prednisolone, whereas AML cells were more resistant (p<0.0001). In B-CLL, cells from patients who had received previous chemotherapy were more resistant to almost all tested drugs as compared to cells from treatment-naive patients. In AML and ALL, in vitro drug resistance was not related to previous chemotherapy. For all drugs, there was a good agreement between the activity in vitro and the known clinical disease-specific activity. The study also demonstrated an acquired cellular drug resistance in B-CLL, but not in the acute leukemias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00001813-200503000-00006DOI Listing
March 2005

VH gene mutation status and cellular drug resistance in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Eur J Haematol 2004 Dec;73(6):407-11

Department of Internal Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Objective: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL) can be divided into two clinical entities based on the immunoglobulin variable heavy chain (VH) gene mutation status, as cases with unmutated VH genes display a more aggressive disease with shorter survival time than mutated cases. The aim of this study was to investigate whether differences in cellular drug resistance could give an explanation for these divergent clinical courses.

Methods: The VH gene mutation status was analysed in patients with previously untreated B-CLL using VH gene family-specific PCR amplification and nucleotide sequencing. In vitro sensitivity to cytarabine, fludarabine, cladribine, doxorubicin, idarubicin, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, melphalan and prednisolone was assessed using the non-clonogenic in vitro assay, fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay.

Results: The VH genes and in vitro drug resistance were successfully analysed in 46 cases, revealing that 25 (54%) cases showed unmutated and 21 (46%) cases mutated VH genes. Interestingly, the unmutated group generally tended to be more chemosensitive than the mutated group with significant differences for cytarabine and prednisolone (P < or = 0.01).

Conclusion: The propensity of inferior drug response in mutated B-CLL may reflect a more differentiated disease than in unmutated B-CLL. We conclude that the difference in prognosis between B-CLL cases with unmutated and mutated VH genes could not be explained by difference in cellular drug resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2004.00334.xDOI Listing
December 2004

Single-tube nested quantitative PCR: a rational and sensitive technique for detection of retroviral DNA. Application to RERV-H/HRV-5 and confirmation of its rabbit origin.

J Virol Methods 2003 Jul;111(1):1-11

Section of Virology, Department of Medical Sciences, Academic Hospital, Uppsala University, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.

It was reported earlier that a few patients suffering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had low amounts of DNA from the so-called fifth human exogenous retrovirus, HRV-5. A sensitive and rational method for large-scale screening for HRV-5 DNA was therefore developed. It is a single-tube nested quantitative PCR (stnQPCR), which uses two functionally isolated primer pairs and one probe target distinct from related endogenous retroviral sequences, yet encompassing known HRV-5 variation, allowing optimal use of sequence conservation. DNA from lymphoma, myeloma, and follicular dendritic cell lines was tested for HRV-5 positivity, as was DNA from whole blood of blood donors, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and systemic lupus erythematosus patients, as well as DNA from lymph node biopsies of rheumatoid arthritis patients with lymphoma. One blood donor, one systemic lupus erythematosus patient, two previously known positive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients, and one rheumatoid arthritis lymphoma patient, came out positive. They had 24, 2, 148, 480 and 30 proviral copies per microg of DNA from PBMC or lymphoma tissue, respectively. During the completion of this work it was reported that HRV-5 is a rabbit endogenous retrovirus (RERV-H), and that HRV-5 positivity was due to presence of rabbit DNA. DNA from six RERV-H/HRV-5 positive samples was therefore retested. Three also contained rabbit mitochondrial DNA. A search for HRV-5 antibodies using synthetic peptides was negative in sera from three RERV-H/HRV-5 positive individuals, as well as in 144 other sera, according with a noninfectious origin of the RERV-H/HRV-5 DNA in human samples. A search for possible sources of rabbit DNA contamination was negative. Methods for prevention of PCR contamination were strictly adhered to. Three samples from RERV-H/HRV-5 positive individuals positive at the Uppsala laboratory were retested at one or two other laboratories, and all three were positive. Two other samples, which were positive in the Riga laboratory, were tested also in London and also found positive. One non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patient was RERV-H/HRV-5 positive in four consecutive samples, showing that positivity was a property of that patient. It is concluded that the stnQPCR developed to detect and quantify minute amounts of RERV-H/HRV-5 DNA is a principle which can be applied widely and HRV-5 is a RERV-H. Its presence in a few human blood samples could not be explained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0166-0934(03)00127-7DOI Listing
July 2003

In vitro evaluation of the efficacy of idarubicin in human tumour cells from patients with low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Br J Haematol 2002 Jun;117(3):563-8

Department of Medical Sciences, University Hospital, S-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.

Evaluating the potential benefit of the new anthracycline, idarubicin (Ida), in lymphoma, 58 tumour samples from patients suffering from low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (L-NHL), were analysed in vitro for their sensitivity to 0.5 microg/ml Ida. This was compared with the sensitivity to other anthracyclines (0.5 microg/ml), using the fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay. A total of 132 samples from patients with acute leukaemia and a cell-line panel representing different resistance mechanisms was included for comparison. The median cell survival of L-NHL cells did not differ after exposing the cells to Ida or daunorubicin (Dnr), whereas epirubicin, doxorubicin (Dox) and mitoxantrone (Mitox) were significantly less cytotoxic than Ida (P < 0.001). The median cell survival in L-NHL cells did not differ from that of acute leukaemia cells after exposure to 0.5 microg/ml Ida, Dnr, Dox and Mitox. Cells from previously treated patients with L-NHL had a higher median survival than cells from untreated patients after exposure to all drugs, except for Ida. In samples from previously untreated patients, Spearman rank correlations were high (Rho = 0.81-0.90) between cell survival after exposure to Ida and the other anthracyclines. The same pattern was observed in the cell-line panel (Rho = 0.78-0.91) (P < 0.05). In contrast, low correlations (Rho = 0.24-0.42) were observed among samples from previously treated patients. Our results indicate a potential benefit of Ida in previously drug-treated patients with L-NHL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2141.2002.03484.xDOI Listing
June 2002