Arsenic trioxide - An old drug rediscovered

  • A. E
  • S.D. G
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Over the last 17years, clinical trials conducted worldwide have demonstrated the efficacy of arsenic trioxide (As2O3) in the treatment of relapsed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Currently, the role of As2O3 in front-line therapy is under investigation. Recent trials in the US have demonstrated that the addition of As2O3 to standard treatment regimens improves survival outcomes in patients with APL and may allow a reduction in cytotoxic chemotherapy exposure. As2O3 has also shown efficacy in other malignancies, particularly multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes. Therapeutic doses of As2O3 are well tolerated, with no evidence of long-term toxicity. Adverse events include APL differentiation syndrome, electrocardiographic abnormalities, and mild elevations in liver enzymes. This review highlights trials investigating the role of As2O3 in induction and consolidation for newly diagnosed APL, as well as its role in other hematologic malignancies. The chemistry, mechanisms of action, and clinical side effects of As2O3 are also discussed. 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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A., E., & S.D., G. (2010). Arsenic trioxide - An old drug rediscovered. Blood Reviews. S.D. Gore, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, The Bunting/Blaustein Cancer Research Building, 1650 Orleans Street, Room 288, Baltimore, MD 21231-1000, United States. E-mail: Churchill Livingstone (1-3 Baxter’s Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH1 3AF, United Kingdom). Retrieved from

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