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"An alkylating agent having a selective immunosuppressive effect on BONE MARROW. It has been used in the palliative treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (MYELOID LEUKEMIA, CHRONIC), but although symptomatic relief is provided, no permanent remission is brought about. According to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985), busulfan is listed as a known carcinogen." (MeSH 2013)

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Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Holtick U, Herling M, Pflug N, et al.
Similar outcome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation with a modified FLAMSA conditioning protocol substituting 4 Gy TBI with treosulfan in an elderly population with high-risk AML.
Ann Hematol. 2017; 96(3):479-487 [PubMed] Related Publications
The fludarabine, amsacrine, and cytarabine (FLAMSA)-reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) protocol has been described to be effective in patients with high-risk and refractory acute myeloic leukemia (AML) undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aSCT). To increase safety and tolerability of the conditioning, we previously reported the feasibility to substitute the TBI component by treosulfan in elderly AML patients. We now present long-term follow-up data on patients treated with FLAMSA/treosulfan compared to the original FLAMSA/4Gy TBI protocol. We retrospectively analyzed 130 consecutive patients with high-risk or relapsed AML after aSCT following FLAMSA conditioning at our center. Fifty-eight patients were treated with FLAMSA/treosulfan due to age and/or comorbidities. Seventy-two patients were treated with FLAMSA/TBI. Median age of patients treated with FLAMSA/treosulfan was 60 years compared to 46 years in those treated with FLAMSA/TBI. The cumulative incidence of a non-relapse mortality at 4 years was 28% in FLAMSA/treosulfan patients as compared to 13% in FLAMSA/TBI. Cumulative incidence of relapse was higher in patients treated with FLAMSA/TBI (46 vs. 32%). This difference was even more prominent for patients treated in blast persistence prior to transplant (relapse incidence 70% for TBI vs. 35% for treosulfan). The overall and relapse-free survival rates at 4 years were 47 and 41%, respectively, for patients treated with FLAMSA/TBI as compared to 43 and 40% in patients treated with FLAMSA/treosulfan. These data indicate an anti-leukemic activity by FLAMSA/treosulfan especially in patients with a blast persistence prior to transplant. Older age was an independent factor for a higher non-relapse mortality. Translating FLAMSA/treosulfan to younger patients, a lower non-relapse mortality, and an improved anti-leukemic activity might add up to improved overall survival. Randomized studies are required to demonstrate an improved efficacy of treosulfan- versus TBI-based FLAMSA conditioning.

Sehouli J, Tomè O, Dimitrova D, et al.
A phase III, open label, randomized multicenter controlled trial of oral versus intravenous treosulfan in heavily pretreated recurrent ovarian cancer: a study of the North-Eastern German Society of Gynecological Oncology (NOGGO).
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2017; 143(3):541-550 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: In recurrent ovarian cancer (ROC), there is a high demand on effective therapies with a mild toxicity profile. Treosulfan is an alkylating agent approved as oral (p.o.) and intravenous (i.v.) formulation for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer. Data on safety and efficacy for either formulation are rare. For the first time we conducted a randomized phase III study comparing both formulations in women with ROC.
METHODS: Patients having received at least two previous lines of chemotherapy were randomly assigned to one of two treatment arms: treosulfan i.v. 7000 mg/m(2) d1 q4w or treosulfan p.o. 600 mg/m(2) d1-28 q8w. Primary endpoint was safety regarding hematological and gastrointestinal toxicity grade III/IV, secondary endpoints were other toxicities, clinical benefit rate (CBR), time to progression (TTP), overall survival (OS) and quality of life.
RESULTS: 250 patients were treated with treosulfan i.v. (128) or treosulfan p.o. (122). In general treosulfan therapy was well tolerated in both treatment arms. Leukopenia grade III/IV occurred significantly more frequently in the p.o. arm (3.9% i.v. arm, 14.8% p.o. arm, p = 0.002). Other toxicities were similar in both arms. CBR was comparable between arms (41.4% i.v. arm, 36.9% p.o. arm). No difference in TTP (3.7 months i.v. arm, 3.5 months p.o. arm) or OS (13.6 months i.v. arm, 10.4 months p.o. arm, p = 0.087) occurred.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the safety and efficacy results treosulfan is an acceptable option for heavily pretreated OC patients. Regarding the toxicity profile the i.v. application was better tolerated with less grade III and IV toxicities.

Wuntakal R, Seshadri S, Montes A, Lane G
Luteinising hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists for the treatment of relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; (6):CD011322 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ovarian cancer is seventh most common cancer in women worldwide. Approximately 1.3% of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at some point during their life time. The majority of tumours arise from surface of the ovary (epithelial). Two thirds of these women will present with advanced disease, requiring aggressive treatment, which includes debulking surgery (removal of as much disease as possible) and chemotherapy. However, most women (75%) with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) will relapse following surgery and chemotherapy. Patients who relapse are treated with either platinum or non-platinum drugs and this is dependent on the platinum-sensitivity and platinum-free interval. These drug regimens are generally well-tolerated although there are potential severe side effects. New treatments that can be used to treat recurrence or prevent disease progression after first-line or subsequent chemotherapy are important, especially those with a low toxicity profile. Hormones such as luteinising hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists have been used in the treatment of relapsed EOC. Some studies have shown objective remissions, while other studies have shown little or no benefit. Most small studies report a better side-effect profile for LHRH agonists when compared to standard chemotherapeutic agents used in EOC.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the effectiveness and safety of luteinising hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists with chemotherapeutic agents or placebo in relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).
SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Group trials register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and Embase up to January 2016. We also searched registers of clinical trials and abstracts of scientific meetings.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared LHRH agonists with chemotherapeutic agents or placebo in relapsed EOC.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed whether relevant studies met the inclusion criteria, retrieved data and assessed risk of bias.
MAIN RESULTS: Two studies, including 97 women, met our inclusion criteria: one assessed LHRH agonist (leuprorelin) use in relapsed (platinum-resistant and platinum-refractory) EOC in comparison with a chemotherapeutic agent (treosulfan) (Du Bois 2002); the other examined LHRH agonist (decapeptyl) versus a placebo (Currie 1994). Since both studies had different control groups, a meta-analysis was not possible.There may be little or no difference between treatment with leuprorelin or treosulfan in overall survival (OS) (hazard ratio (HR) 0.98, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58 to 1.67; very low-quality evidence) or progression-free survival (PFS) at six and 12 months (risk ratio (RR) 0.61, 95% CI 0.22 to 1.68, and RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.12 to 3.66; very low-quality evidence), respectively (Du Bois 2002). The duration of follow-up was 2.5 years and quality of life (QoL) was not reported in this study.Alopecia and fatigue were probably more common with treosulfan than leuprorelin (alopecia RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.91 (very low-quality evidence)). There may be little or no difference in other Grade 3/4 side effects: nausea and vomiting (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.12 to 3.66 (very low-quality evidence)); neurotoxicity (RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.01 to 7.71 (very low-quality evidence)) and neutropenia (RR 0.97, 95% 0.06 to 14.97 (very low-quality evidence)),The Currie 1994 study, which compared decapeptyl treatment with placebo, reported mean PFS of 16 weeks verus 11.2 weeks, respectively. No relative effects measures or P value at a particular time point were reported. Overall survival (OS) and QoL outcomes were not reported. In addition, adverse events were only mentioned for the decapeptyl group.Adverse events were incompletely reported (no adverse events in decapeptyl group, but not reported for the placebo group).
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Based on this review of two small RCTs, there is not enough evidence to comment on the safety and effectiveness of LHRH agonists in the treatment of platinum-refractory and platinum-resistant (relapsed) EOC. Overall, the quality of evidence for all outcomes (including OS, PFS, QoL and adverse events) is very low.

Chekerov R, Kaltenecker G, Reichert D, et al.
Treosulfan in the Treatment of Advanced Ovarian Cancer - Results of a German Multicenter Non-interventional Study.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(12):6869-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Data on routine systemic treatment of patients with ovarian cancer are currently available only to a limited degree. The alkylating agent treosulfan is approved in oral (p.o.) and intravenous (i.v.) form for the treatment of ovarian carcinoma. The present non-interventional study analyzed the clinical use of treosulfan in Germany, evaluating the mode of application, toxicity, and response and survival rate.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred and forty-eight ovarian cancer patients in 57 Centers, who received treosulfan mainly either i.v. (5,000-8,000 mg/m(2) d1, q21d or q28d) or p.o. (400-600 mg/m(2) d1-14 or 21, q28d) for at least one therapy cycle were evaluable and were included in the study.
RESULTS: With a median age of 70 years (range=36-92 years), predominantly elderly patients received treosulfan treatment. Most participants presented serous histology (131, 52.8%) and advanced-stage FIGO III (122, 49%) or IV (55, 22%) disease. Median ECOG status was 1 (range=0-2), whereas cardiac co-morbidity was common (31%). Treosulfan was usually administered as second- (26%), third- (21%) or fourth-line (17%) therapy. Two hundred and one patients received i.v. and 47 p.o.
TREATMENT: The most common reason for dose modifications was due to hematological toxicity (46%). The main reason for a therapy discontinuation was progressive disease (38.5%). Response was observed in 25.8% of participants, disease stabilization in 28.6 % and progress in 45.6%. The median progression-free and overall survival was 196 and 405 days, respectively.
CONCLUSION: In predominantly elderly and heavily pre-treated patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, treosulfan featured a clinical relevant efficacy and well-manageable, mostly hematological, toxicity, which resulted in a positive therapeutic index.

Cahu X, Labopin M, Giebel S, et al.
Impact of conditioning with TBI in adult patients with T-cell ALL who receive a myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a report from the acute leukemia working party of EBMT.
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2016; 51(3):351-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) is a therapeutic option for adult patients with T-cell ALL (T-ALL). Meanwhile, few allo-SCT data specific to adult T-ALL have been described thus far. Specifically, the optimal myeloablative conditioning regimen is unknown. In this retrospective study, 601 patients were included. Patients received allo-SCT in CR1, CR2, CR >2 or in advanced disease in 69%, 15%, 2% and 14% of cases, respectively. With an overall follow-up of 58 months, 523 patients received a TBI-based regimen, whereas 78 patients received a chemotherapy-based regimen including IV busulfan-cyclophosphamide (IV Bu-Cy) (n=46). Unlike patients aged ⩾35 years, patients aged <35 years who received a TBI-based regimen displayed an improved outcome compared with patients who received a chemotherapy-based regimen (5-year leukemia-free survival (LFS) of 50% for TBI versus 18% for chemo-only regimen or IV Bu-Cy regimens, P=10(-5) and 10(-4), respectively). In multivariate analysis, use of TBI was associated with an improved LFS (hazard ratio (HR)=0.55 (0.34-0.86), P=0.01) and overall survival (HR=0.54 (0.34-0.87), P=0.01) in patients aged <35 years. In conclusion, younger adult patients with T-ALL entitled to receive a myeloablative allo-SCT may benefit from TBI-based regimens.

Elborai Y, Hafez H, Moussa EA, et al.
Comparison of toxicity following different conditioning regimens (busulfan/melphalan and carboplatin/etoposide/melphalan) for advanced stage neuroblastoma: Experience of two transplant centers.
Pediatr Transplant. 2016; 20(2):284-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The outcome for advanced neuroblastoma has improved with combined modality therapy: induction chemotherapy, surgery, and consolidation with high-dose chemotherapy/autologous HSCT, followed by local radiation, cisretinoic acid, and recently antibody therapy. In the United States, the most common conditioning regimen is CEM, while in Europe/Middle East, Bu/Mel has been widely used; it remains unclear which regimen has the best outcome. Assess renal, hepatic, and infectious toxicity through Day+100 in 2 different regimens. Retrospective comparison between CEM-DFCHCC Boston and Bu/Mel- CCHE-57357. Thirty-five patients, median age 4, in Boston (2007-2011) and 38 patients, median age 3, in Cairo (2009-2011). Renal toxicity; creatinine was significantly higher in CEM than Bu/Mel: 57% (median day+90) vs. 29% (median>day+100), p = 0.004. One CEM patient died from renal dialysis at day+19. Hepatic toxicity was significantly higher in CEM than Bu/Mel: 80% (median day+26) vs. 58% (median day+60), p = 0.04. In infectious complications with CEM 14%, bacteremia (n = 4) and fungemia (n = 1), 3 had culture-negative sepsis requiring vasopressors. With Bu/Mel 18%, bacteremia (n = 7), none required pressors, p = 0.4. Bu/Mel was associated with less acute hepatic and renal toxicity and thus may be preferable for preserving organ functions.

Jaiswal SR, Chakrabarti A, Chatterjee S, et al.
Haploidentical Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation with Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide in Children with Advanced Acute Leukemia with Fludarabine-, Busulfan-, and Melphalan-Based Conditioning.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016; 22(3):499-504 [PubMed] Related Publications
Post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCY) therapy has made haploidentical transplantation a global reality in adults, but the literature is largely silent on the feasibility of this approach in children. We conducted a prospective study of 20 patients (median age, 12 years; range, 2-20 years) with advanced acute leukemia to evaluate the feasibility of PTCY-based haploidentical peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplantation in children. The conditioning regimen comprised fludarabine, i.v. busulfan, and melphalan (Flu-Bu-Mel). PTCY on days +3 and +4 was followed by mycophenolate mofetil for 14-21 days and cyclosporine for 60 days. Thirteen patients (65%) had refractory or relapsed myelogenous leukemia, and the remainder had high-risk lymphoblastic leukemia. Prompt engraftment was noted at a median of 14 days, with full donor chimerism by day +28. The cumulative incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease was 35% and 5%, respectively. Nonrelapse mortality at 1 year was 20%. The incidence of disease progression was 25.7%. The actuarial overall survival at 2 years was 64.3% (95% confidence interval, 53.4%-75.2%). Our data suggest that Flu-Bu-Mel-based conditioning followed by PTCY-based haploidentical PBSC transplantation with reduced duration of immunosuppression is feasible in pediatric patients with advanced leukemia.

Weng G, Zeng Y, Huang J, et al.
Curcumin Enhanced Busulfan-Induced Apoptosis through Downregulating the Expression of Survivin in Leukemia Stem-Like KG1a Cells.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:630397 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Leukemia relapse and nonrecurrence mortality (NRM) due to leukemia stem cells (LSCs) represent major problems following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). To eliminate LSCs, the sensitivity of LSCs to chemotherapeutic agents used in conditioning regimens should be enhanced. Curcumin (CUR) has received considerable attention as a result of its anticancer activity in leukemia and solid tumors. In this study, we investigated the cytotoxic effects and underlying mechanisms in leukemia stem-like KG1a cells exposed to busulfan (BUS) and CUR, either alone or in combination. KG1a cells exhibiting BUS-resistance demonstrated by MTT and annexin V/propidium iodide (PI) assays, compared with HL-60 cells. CUR induced cell growth inhibition and apoptosis in KG1a cells. Apoptosis of KG1a cells was significantly enhanced by treatment with CUR+BUS, compared with either agent alone. CUR synergistically enhanced the cytotoxic effect of BUS. Seven apoptosis-related proteins were modulated in CUR- and CUR+BUS-treated cells analyzed by proteins array analysis. Importantly, the antiapoptosis protein survivin was significantly downregulated, especially in combination group. Suppression of survivin with specific inhibitor YM155 significantly increased the susceptibility of KG1a cells to BUS. These results demonstrated that CUR could increase the sensitivity of leukemia stem-like KG1a cells to BUS by downregulating the expression of survivin.

Chen S, Osborn JD, Chen X, et al.
Subacute hepatic necrosis mimicking veno-occlusive disease in a patient with HFE H63D homozygosity after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation with busulfan conditioning.
Int J Hematol. 2015; 102(6):729-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Busulfan is a commonly used chemotherapeutic agent in myeloablative conditioning regimens for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). It has been associated with sinusoidal-obstructive syndrome(SOS) as a life-threatening complication of myeloablative allo-HCT, yet it has not been found to cause severe hepatocellular injury, even in cases of significant accidental overdose.We report the case of a 31-year-old male with a history of high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome transitioning to acute myeloid leukemia, who in complete remission underwent allo-HCT using myeloablative busulfan–fludarabine conditioning, and who developed hepatic failure. While he met clinical criteria for SOS and was treated with defibrotide,liver biopsy demonstrated severe subacute hepatic necrosis and lacked characteristics of SOS. Further evaluation revealed that the patient was homozygous for the HFE H63D gene mutation, associated with hereditary hemochromatosis.Both Busulfan and iron overload related to HFE H63D homozygosity can cause oxidative stress resulting in cellular injury, and the cumulative effects of these risk factors are possibly responsible for the severe hepatocellular injury in this case, making our patient the first-known case of subacute hepatic necrosis related to busulfan administration.

Rambaldi A, Grassi A, Masciulli A, et al.
Busulfan plus cyclophosphamide versus busulfan plus fludarabine as a preparative regimen for allogeneic haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia: an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 3 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(15):1525-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The standard busulfan-cyclophosphamide myeloablative conditioning regimen is associated with substantial non-relapse mortality in patients older than 40 years with acute myeloid leukaemia who are undergoing allogeneic stem-cell transplantation. Because the combination of busulfan plus fludarabine has been proposed to reduce non-relapse mortality, we aimed to compare this treatment with busulfan plus cyclophosphamide as a preparative regimen in these patients.
METHODS: We did an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 3 trial for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia at 25 hospital transplant centres in Italy and one in Israel. Eligible patients were aged 40-65 years, had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status less than 3, and were in complete remission. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive intravenous busulfan plus cyclophosphamide or busulfan plus fludarabine. Treatment allocations were not masked to investigators or patients. Randomisation was done centrally via a dedicated web-based system using remote data entry, with patients stratified by donor type and complete remission status. Patients allocated to busulfan plus cyclophosphamide received intravenous busulfan 0·8 mg/kg four times per day during 2 h infusions for four consecutive days (16 doses from days -9 through -6; total dose 12·8 mg/kg) and cyclophosphamide at 60 mg/kg per day for two consecutive days (on days -4 and -3; total dose 120 mg/kg). Patients allocated to busulfan plus fludarabine received the same dose of intravenous busulfan (from days -6 through -3) and fludarabine at 40 mg/m(2) per day for four consecutive days (from days -6 through -3; total dose 160 mg/m(2)). The primary endpoint was 1-year non-relapse mortality, which was assessed on an intention-to-treat basis; safety outcomes were assessed in the per-protocol population. This trial has been completed and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01191957.
FINDINGS: Between Jan 3, 2008, and Dec 20, 2012, we enrolled and randomly assigned 252 patients to receive busulfan plus cyclophosphamide (n=125) or busulfan plus fludarabine (n=127). Median follow-up was 27·5 months (IQR 9·8-44·3). 1-year non-relapse mortality was 17·2% (95% CI 11·6-25·4) in the busulfan plus cyclophosphamide group and 7·9% (4·3-14·3) in the busulfan plus fludarabine group (Gray's test p=0·026). The most frequently reported grade 3 or higher adverse events were gastrointestinal events (28 [23%] of 121 patients in the busulfan plus cyclophosphamide group and 26 [21%] of 124 patients in the busulfan plus fludarabine group) and infections (21 [17%] patients in the busulfan plus cyclophosphamide group and 13 [10%] patients in the busulfan plus fludarabine group had at least one such event).
INTERPRETATION: In older patients with acute myeloid leukaemia, the myeloablative busulfan plus fludarabine conditioning regimen is associated with lower transplant-related mortality than busulfan plus cyclophosphamide, but retains potent antileukaemic activity. Accordingly, this regimen should be regarded as standard of care during the planning of allogeneic transplants for such patients.
FUNDING: Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco.

Schneidawind D, Federmann B, Buechele C, et al.
Reduced-intensity conditioning with fludarabine and busulfan for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in elderly or infirm patients with advanced myeloid malignancies.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(1):115-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report a retrospective single-center analysis of 112 consecutive patients that underwent allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) after reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) with fludarabine (FLU) and busulfan (BU) for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and myeloproliferative syndrome (MPS) from 2005 to 2014. Three-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 46 and 58 %, respectively. Patients ≥60 years of age showed a similar outcome compared to younger patients (3-year OS 55 vs. 61 %, p = 0.96; 3-year EFS 46 vs. 46 %, p = 0.82). Cumulative incidence of non-relapse mortality (NRM) at 3 years adjusted for relapse as competing risk was 25 % for patients aged <60 years and 15 % for older patients (p = 0.15). Infusions of higher CD34(+) blood stem cell doses were associated with a significantly better outcome in the elderly subgroup (3-year OS 82 vs. 39 %, p = 0.007). Moreover, complete donor chimerism at day +100 was associated with a significantly improved survival (3-year OS 69 vs. 23 %, p = 0.003). In conclusion, our data suggest that RIC with FLU/BU enables long-term disease-free survival even in an elderly patient population. Age has no negative impact on the outcome of allogeneic HCT, and decision for transplant should be based on disease risk and performance status rather than age alone.

Boztug H, Sykora KW, Slatter M, et al.
European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Analysis of Treosulfan Conditioning Before Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children and Adolescents With Hematological Malignancies.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016; 63(1):139-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Standard myeloablative conditioning regimens for children with hematological malignancies undergoing allogeneic HSCT are based mainly on total body irradiation or busulfan. Their serious short- and long-term side effects warranted the exploration of less toxic alternatives. Treosulfan is increasingly used for adults and children before HSCT due to its potent immunosuppressive and cytotoxic effects combined with low organ toxicity.
PROCEDURE: To further investigate the role of treosulfan conditioning in children, the EBMT Pediatric diseases working party performed a retrospective analysis of 193 children with hematological malignancies (ALL n = 71, AML n = 47, MDS/MPS n = 40, other leukemia/lymphoma n = 25) undergoing allogeneic HSCT following treosulfan between January 2005 and July 2010.
RESULTS: Early regimen-related toxicity was low and mainly gastrointestinal. Veno-occlusive disease and neurological toxicity were rare. There was no association of toxicity with type of disease or treosulfan dose. High-grade early toxicity was not higher in infants or patients undergoing second or later transplantation. Treatment related mortality was low at 14%. Three-year event-free survival was 45 ± 4% and not significantly influenced by number of transplants, however it appeared to be significantly better for infants (P = 0.022). When compared to treosulfan plus fludarabine, the combination of treosulfan, fludarabine and an alkylator (either thiotepa or melphalan) resulted in significantly better overall survival (OS, P = 0.048) and a trend toward better EFS.
CONCLUSIONS: Treosulfan based conditioning is a safe and effective approach for children with hematological malignancies, including and importantly for infants and those patients undergoing second or later transplantation.

Lombardi LR, Kanakry CG, Zahurak M, et al.
Therapeutic drug monitoring for either oral or intravenous busulfan when combined with pre- and post-transplantation cyclophosphamide.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2016; 57(3):666-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Busulfan (Bu)/cyclophosphamide (Cy) is a standard conditioning platform for allogeneic transplantation. We developed a strategy separating the Cy into two pre/post-transplantation doses (PTCy), providing myeloablative conditioning and single-agent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis. We investigated the impact of Bu route on treatment-related toxicity for 131 consecutive adult patients. Busulfan was administered in four daily divided doses either orally (n = 72) or intravenously (n = 59) with pharmacokinetics on the first-dose and as necessary on subsequent doses to achieve a target area-under-the-concentration-curve (AUC) of 800-1400 μmol*min/L per dose. BuCy/PTCy with pharmacokinetics is well-tolerated with low treatment-related toxicity. Hepatic veno-occlusive disease incidence was 6% with two fatal events. Bu administration route in the context of BuCy/PTCy did not statistically impact hepatotoxicity, GVHD, relapse, disease-free survival, or overall survival. The BuCy/PTCy platform has a low incidence of treatment-related toxicity, including hepatotoxicity, in hematologic malignancies when using pharmacokinetics for a target AUC of 800-1400 μmol*min/L, irrespective of Bu administration route.

Ishida H, Kato M, Kudo K, et al.
Comparison of Outcomes for Pediatric Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Remission and Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation With Myeloablative Conditioning Regimens Based on Either Intravenous Busulfan or Total Body Irradiation: A Report From the Japanese Society for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015; 21(12):2141-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) mainly receive myeloablative conditioning regimens based on busulfan (BU) or total body irradiation (TBI) before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT); however, the optimal conditioning regimen remains unclear. To identify which of these regimens is better for pediatric patients, we performed a retrospective analysis of nationwide registration data collected in Japan between 2006 and 2011 to assess the outcomes of patients receiving these regimens before a first allo-HCT. Myeloablative conditioning regimens based on i.v. BU (i.v. BU-MAC) (n = 69) or TBI (TBI-MAC) (n = 151) were compared in pediatric AML patients in first or second complete remission (CR1/CR2). The incidences of sinusoid obstruction syndrome, acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease, and early nonrelapse mortality (NRM) before day 100 were similar for both conditioning groups; however, the incidence of bacterial infection during the acute period was higher in the TBI-MAC group (P = .008). Both groups showed a similar incidence of NRM, and there was no significant difference in the incidence of relapse between the groups. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed no significant differences in the 2-year relapse-free survival rates for the i.v. BU-MAC and TBI-MAC groups in the CR1/CR2 setting (71% versus 67%, P = .36; hazard ratio, .73; 95% CI, .43 to 1.24, respectively). TBI-MAC was no better than i.v. BU-MAC for pediatric AML patients in remission. Although this retrospective registry-based analysis has several limitations, i.v. BU-MAC warrants further evaluation in a prospective trial.

El-Jawahri A, Li S, Ballen KK, et al.
Phase II Trial of Reduced-Intensity Busulfan/Clofarabine Conditioning with Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Myelodysplastic Syndromes, and Acute Lymphoid Leukemia.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016; 22(1):80-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clofarabine has potent antileukemia activity and its inclusion in reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for acute leukemia could potentially improve outcomes. We conducted a phase II study of busulfan (.8 mg/kg i.v. twice daily on days -5, -4, -3, and -2) with clofarabine (40 mg/m(2) i.v. daily on days -5, -4, -3, and -2) conditioning before allogeneic 8/8 HLA-matched related or unrelated HSCT. The primary endpoint was donor neutrophil engraftment by day +40. Secondary endpoints included nonrelapse mortality (NRM), acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Thirty-four patients (acute myeloid leukemia [AML], n = 25; myelodysplastic syndromes, n = 5; and acute lymphoid leukemia, n = 4) were enrolled. Day 40+ engraftment with donor chimerism was achieved in 33 of 34 patients with 1 patient dying before count recovery. Day 100 and 1-year NRM were 5.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 17.4) and 24% (95% CI, 11 to 39), respectively. The 2-year relapse rate was 26% (95% CI, 13 to 42). Cumulative incidences of acute and chronic GVHD were 21% and 44%, respectively. The 2-year PFS was 50% (95% CI, 32 to 65) and OS was 56% (95% CI, 38 to 71). For patients with AML in first complete remission, 2-year PFS and OS were both 82% (95% CI, 55 to 94). RIC with busulfan and clofarabine leads to successful engraftment with acceptable rates of NRM and GVHD.

Watanabe E, Nishikawa T, Ikawa K, et al.
Trough level monitoring of intravenous busulfan to estimate the area under the plasma drug concentration-time curve in pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.
Int J Hematol. 2015; 102(5):611-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Optimizing systemic busulfan exposure, the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC), improves the outcomes for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The AUC is conventionally calculated using six plasma concentrations (AUC(0-∞)) drawn after the first of 16 intravenous busulfan doses given as a 2-h infusion every 6 h. The aim of the present study was to develop limited sampling strategies using three or fewer busulfan concentrations to reliably calculate AUC(0-∞) in patients undergoing HSCT. We investigated the pharmacokinetics of busulfan 46 times in 29 pediatric patients receiving intravenous busulfan. Limited sampling strategies using one, two, or three plasma busulfan concentrations were developed by multiple linear regression that showed excellent agreement with AUC(0-∞). In single-point sampling strategies, the AUC(0-∞) predicted based on C(6) (trough level: busulfan plasma concentration 6 h after the start of the infusion) was significantly correlated with, and not statistically different from, actual values as follows: AUC(0-∞) = 2556.5 C6 + 320.9 (r(2) = 0.929, P < 0.0001, mean bias 0.282 %, precision 7.91 %). In contrast, the predicted AUCs derived from the other sampling single points did not meet the criteria. The trough level well correlated with actual AUC(0-∞), suggesting that this time-point is acceptable for busulfan monitoring.

Yerushalmi R, Shem-Tov N, Danylesko I, et al.
Fludarabine and treosulfan compared with other reduced-intensity conditioning regimens for allogeneic stem cell transplantation in patients with lymphoid malignancies.
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2015; 50(12):1526-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (SCT) is a potentially curative therapy for lymphoid malignancies. Myeloablative conditioning is associated with high non-relapse mortality (NRM). Reduced-intensity condition (RIC) reduces NRM but relapse rate is increased. Novel regimens with intensive anti-malignancy activity but limited toxicity are of benefit. We evaluated outcomes of 144 lymphoma patients given allogeneic SCT with RIC consisting of fludarabine and treosulfan (FT, n=50), intravenous-busulfan (FB2, n=38) or melphalan (FM, n=56). Sixty-nine patients (48%) had chemo-sensitive disease and 75 (52%) had chemo-refractory disease at SCT. The median follow-up is 39 months (4-149). Three-year survival was 67, 74 and 48% after FT, FB2 and FM, in chemo-sensitive disease (P=0.14) and 34, 11 and 17% in chemo-refractory disease, respectively (P=0.08). Three-year NRM was 24, 24 and 54% (P=0.002), whereas relapse mortality was 22, 34 and 18%, respectively (P=0.13). Multivariate analysis identified a high comorbidity-score, chemo-refractory disease and FM as associated with shortened survival. In conclusion, FB2 is associated with low NRM and good results in chemo-sensitive disease, but with higher relapse mortality rates. FM controls disease better, but with high NRM. FT probably balances these outcomes more optimally. It is as safe as FB2 and as cytoreductive as FM, resulting in improved outcome, mostly in advanced disease.

Shea TC, Walko C, Chung Y, et al.
Phase I/II Trial of Dose-Escalated Busulfan Delivered by Prolonged Continuous Infusion in Allogeneic Transplant Patients.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015; 21(12):2129-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intensive chemotherapy or chemotherapy plus irradiation and allogeneic stem cell transplantation can be curative for patients with hematologic diseases. Reduced-intensity transplants can also achieve cure and result in less treatment-related mortality but higher relapse rates. Thus, optimizing the conditioning regimens used in allogeneic transplantation remains an important goal. We conducted a phase I/II trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) of a continuous infusion of busulfan over 90 hours in conjunction with fludarabine followed by allogeneic related or unrelated donor transplant. Fifty-four patients with advanced hematologic malignancies were enrolled on this study. The MTD was identified as a 24-hour area under the curve (AUC) of approximately 7095 μM/min, which represents a 43% increase over the standard total daily AUC dose of 4800 μM/min given by intermittent schedules. DLTs at doses over 8000 μM/min were identified by a desquamative skin rash and mucositis. No dose-related increase in hepatic, pulmonary, or other organ toxicities were seen, whereas efficacy appeared to be improved at higher dose levels. Continuous-infusion busulfan with intermittent fludarabine provides an alternative treatment strategy that is generally well tolerated and permits an increase in total busulfan dose with encouraging efficacy. (NCI study no. NCT00448357.).

Yeral M, Kasar M, Boga C, et al.
Clinical Relevance of Apheretic Graft Composition in Patients With Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia Who Received a Busulfan-Fludarabine-Antithymocyte Globulin Conditioning Regimen for Allogeneic Transplant.
Exp Clin Transplant. 2015; 13(5):453-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Sparse data are available about the effects of apheretic graft composition on the clinical transplant outcome in allotransplanted patients who have hematologic malignant disease. Major obstacles in recent studies have included heterogeneity of patient populations and differences in the conditioning regimens used.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective study included 50 patients who had acute myeloblastic leukemia and received busulfan-fludarabine-antithymocyte globulin-based conditioning for peripheral allogeneic stem cell transplant. The concentration of CD34+ cells, T-cell subsets, B cells, and natural killer cells in the graft were analyzed by flow cytometry in the donors who were matched for human leukocyte antigen.
RESULTS: In univariate analysis, infusion with a higher dose of natural killer cells (> 1.55 × 106/kg) was associated with improved survival (P = .007 for disease-free survival; P = .024 for overall survival) in patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia. Cox regression models revealed that increased concentration of natural killer cells and CD34+ cells positively affected the clinical outcome of allotransplanted patients (P = .005 for both cell types). According to univariate analysis, these findings were dependent on minimal residual disease and acute graft-versus-host disease. Graft-versus-host disease (acute and chronic forms) was not affected by graft composition.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that increased concentration of natural killer cells and CD34+ cells in the apheretic product may predict better survival. In contrast, busulfan-fludarabine-antithymocyte globulin-based conditioning eliminates the disadvantages that resulted from the high content of T-cell subsets and B cells, and the course of the transplant and clinical parameters were not affected by the amount of T and B cells.

Sugita J, Kawashima N, Fujisaki T, et al.
HLA-Haploidentical Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation with Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide after Busulfan-Containing Reduced-Intensity Conditioning.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015; 21(9):1646-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) using post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) is increasingly performed. We conducted a multicenter phase II study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of PTCy-based HLA-haploidentical peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PTCy-haploPBSCT) after busulfan-containing reduced-intensity conditioning. Thirty-one patients were enrolled; 61% patients were not in remission and 42% patients had a history of prior allo-SCT. Neutrophil engraftment was achieved in 87% patients with a median of 19 days. The cumulative incidence of grades II to IV and III to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and chronic GVHD at 1 year were 23%, 3%, and 15%, respectively. No patients developed severe chronic GVHD. Day 100 nonrelapse mortality (NRM) rate was 19.4%. Overall survival, relapse, and disease-free survival rates were 45%, 45%, and 34%, respectively, at 1 year. Subgroup analysis showed that patients who had a history of prior allo-SCT had lower engraftment, higher NRM, and lower overall survival than those not receiving a prior allo-SCT. Our results suggest that PTCy-haploPBSCT after busulfan-containing reduced-intensity conditioning achieved low incidences of acute and chronic GVHD and NRM and stable donor engraftment and low NRM, particularly in patients without a history of prior allo-SCT.

Kasar M, Asma S, Kozanoglu I, et al.
Effectiveness of fludarabine- and busulfan-based conditioning regimens in patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia: 8-year experience in a single center.
Transplant Proc. 2015; 47(4):1217-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is a curative treatment for acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML). Because the conditioning regimen of busulfan plus cyclophosphamide carries significant risks of toxicity, we evaluated the factors affecting survival after fludarabine replacement instead of cyclophosphamide.
METHODS: The study included 55 patients who underwent allo-HSCT for AML and received busulfan, fludarabine, and antithymocyte globulin (ATG).
RESULTS: Forty-eight patients received a myeloablative regimen; 7 patients received a reduced-intensity conditioning regimen. The neutrophil and platelet engraftment times were 12 days (range 9 to 20) and 12 days (range 7 to 19), respectively. Graft-vs-host disease (GvHD) developed in 10% and 50% of the patients, respectively. Seven patients received donor lymphocyte infusion. Of them, 5 patients developed grade I or II GvHD, one grade IV GvHD. The median follow-up period was 20.6 months. The predicted progression-free survival (PFS) at 1 and 3 years after transplantation was 78% and 74%, respectively. The overall survival (OS) at 1, 3, and 5 years was 76%, 74%, and 62%, respectively. Treatment-related mortality (infection in 1 patient, GvHD in 2 patients) occurred in 3 patients (5.5%). Multivariate analysis revealed that OS and PFS were not influenced by age, dose of busulfan or ATG, or presence of cytomegalovirus antigenemia. Acute GvHD and pretransplantation minimal residual disease positivity negatively affected the transplant outcome. The presence of active disease at the time of transplantation was found as an independent risk factor for AML.
CONCLUSIONS: Busulfan- and fludarabine-based conditioning regimens are effective for AML, and have acceptable toxicity, morbidity, and mortality.

Kharfan-Dabaja MA, Labopin M, Bazarbachi A, et al.
Higher busulfan dose intensity appears to improve leukemia-free and overall survival in AML allografted in CR2: An analysis from the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
Leuk Res. 2015; 39(9):933-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is a potentially curative treatment in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Recent advances in the field of hematopoietic cell allografting have resulted in a practice shift, favoring less intense preparative regimens. We present results of a retrospective comparative analysis of two preparative regimens, namely FB2 (IV fludarabine plus IV busulfan 6.4mg/kg±10%) and FB4 (IV fludarabine plus IV busulfan 12.8mg/kg ±10%), in patients with acute myeloid leukemia undergoing hematopoietic cell allografting in second complete remission at EBMT participating centers. Between 2003 and 2010, 128 AML patients in second complete remission were allografted following a preparative regimen of FB2 (n=88) or FB4 (n=40). The median time-to-neutrophil engraftment was similar whether patients received FB2 (16 (5-38) days) or FB4 (16 (9-29) days), p=0.45. A multivariate analysis showed that use of FB4 resulted in improved 2-year leukemia-free (HR=0.44 (95%CI=0.21, 0.94), p=0.03) and overall survival (HR=0.38 (95%CI=0.16, 0.86), p=0.02). Cumulative incidence of non-relapse mortality (2-year) for all patients was 21% (95%CI=14-28%). Our analysis suggests that FB4 improves 2-year leukemia-free and overall survival in AML allografted in second complete remission. A confirmatory randomized controlled trial that compares these two preparative regimens (FB2 vs. FB4) in AML in CR2 is definitely warranted.

Konopleva M, Benton CB, Thall PF, et al.
Leukemia cell mobilization with G-CSF plus plerixafor during busulfan-fludarabine conditioning for allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2015; 50(7):939-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We hypothesized that during conditioning chemotherapy for allogeneic stem cell transplant (allo-SCT), the disruption of stromal-leukemia interactions using G-CSF in combination with the CXCR4-specific inhibitor, plerixafor, may promote the release of leukemic cells from the niche and increase tumor elimination. In a phase 1/2 investigation, we treated 45 AML/myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)/CML patients (34 AML, 7 MDS and 4 CML) with G-CSF (10 μg/kg daily for 6 days starting on day -9) plus plerixafor (doses of 0, 80, 160 or 240 μg/kg daily for 4 days starting on day -7) along with the busulfan-fludarabine (Bu-Flu) conditioning regimen. In the phase 1 part, we determined that G-CSF plus plerixafor is safe in this setting. We compared the clinical effects and outcomes of AML/MDS study patients (n=40) with 164 patients from a historical data set who received Bu-Flu alone before allo-SCT by stratifying on cytogenetics and disease status to correct for bias. Study patients had increased myeloid chimerism and lower rates of GvHD. There was no significant difference in relapse-free survival or overall survival. The G-CSF plus plerixafor combination increased circulating WBCs, CD34+ cells and CXCR4+ cells, and preferentially mobilized FISH+ leukemic cells.

Magenau JM, Braun T, Reddy P, et al.
Allogeneic transplantation with myeloablative FluBu4 conditioning improves survival compared to reduced intensity FluBu2 conditioning for acute myeloid leukemia in remission.
Ann Hematol. 2015; 94(6):1033-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The optimal intensity of conditioning for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains undefined. Traditionally, myeloablative conditioning regimens improve disease control, but at the risk of greater nonrelapse mortality. Because fludarabine with myeloablative doses of intravenous busulfan using pharmacokinetic monitoring has excellent tolerability, we reasoned that this regimen would limit relapse without substantially elevating toxicity when compared to reduced intensity conditioning. We retrospectively analyzed 148 consecutive AML patients in remission receiving T cell replete HCT conditioned with fludarabine and intravenous busulfan at doses defined as reduced (6.4 mg/kg; FluBu2, n = 63) or myeloablative (12.8 mg/kg; FluBu4, n = 85). Early and late nonrelapse mortality (NRM) was similar among FluBu4 and FluBu2 recipients, respectively (day + 100: 4 vs 0 %; 5 years: 19 vs 22 %; p = 0.54). NRM did not differ between FluBu4 and FluBu2 in patients >50 years of age (24 vs 22 %, p = 0.75). Relapse was lower in recipients of FluBu4 (5 years: 30 vs 49 %; p = 0.04), especially in patients with poor risk cytogenetics (22 vs 59 %; p = 0.02) and those >50 years of age (28 vs 51 %; p = 0.02). Overall survival favored FluBu4 recipients at 5 years (53 vs 34 %, p = 0.02), a finding confirmed in multivariate analysis (HR: 0.57; 95 % CI: 0.34-0.95; p = 0.03). These data suggest that myeloablative FluBu4 may provide equivalent NRM, reduced relapse, and improved survival compared to FluBu2, emphasizing the importance of busulfan dose in conditioning for AML.

Mannis GN, Andreadis C, Logan AC, et al.
A phase I study of targeted, dose-escalated intravenous busulfan in combination with etoposide as myeloablative therapy for autologous stem cell transplantation in acute myeloid leukemia.
Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2015; 15(6):377-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Busulfan and etoposide have been used as myeloablative therapy for autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) for > 20 years. The use of targeted intravenous (I.V.) busulfan has significantly improved the tolerability and efficacy of this regimen. We designed a dose-escalation study to examine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of targeted I.V. busulfan with bolus etoposide as preparative therapy for autologous HSCT in AML.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this single-center, phase I study, adult AML patients received I.V. busulfan targeted to either an area under the curve (AUC) of 1250 (cohort 1) or 1400 (cohort 2) μmol/min over 16 doses. Dose adjustments based on plasma pharmacokinetics occurred before doses 2 and 11. Etoposide 60 mg/kg I.V. was administered 24 hours after the last busulfan dose and 3 days before stem cell infusion.
RESULTS: Twelve patients with intermediate-risk AML in first complete remission were treated. All patients in cohort 1 and 5 patients (83%) in cohort 2 were within 10% of the target AUC. The MTD was not reached, although Grade ≥ 3 mucositis occurred in 3 patients (50%) in cohort 1 and in 4 patients (66%) in cohort 2, limiting further dose escalation. Two-year relapse-free survival was 33% in cohort 1 versus 67% in cohort 2 (P = .08).
CONCLUSION: Etoposide and targeted, dose-escalated I.V. busulfan as myeloablative therapy for autologous HSCT in AML is safe, with mucositis being the most significant toxicity. A phase II study is warranted to further evaluate the activity and safety of busulfan targeted to AUC 1400 μmol/min.

Berger K, Schopohl D, Rieger C, Ostermann H
Economic and clinical aspects of intravenous versus oral busulfan in adult patients for conditioning prior to HSCT.
Support Care Cancer. 2015; 23(12):3447-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Busulfan (BU) used as cytoreductive conditioning prior to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is available as intravenous (IV) and oral (O) preparation. IV-BU has clinical advantages associated with relevant incremental costs. The aim was to determine the economic impact of IV-BU versus O-BU in adult HSCT recipients from a German health care providers' perspective.
METHODS: A budget-impact model (BIM) including costs and risks for oral mucositis (OM), infection with OM, and hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (SOS) was developed. Model inputs are literature data comparing clinical effects of IV-BU versus O-BU and German cost data (conditioning therapy, treatment of OM, infections, SOS without/with multiorgan failure) from literature and tariff lists.
RESULTS: Base case calculations resulted the following: total costs of adverse events were €86,434 with O-BU and €44,376 with IV-BU for ten patients each. Considering costs of adverse events and drugs, about €5840 for ten patients receiving IV-BU are saved. Sensitivity analyses were conducted in several ways. Cost savings range between €4910 and €12,640 per ten patients for all adverse events and €2070 or €1140 per ten patients considering SOS only. Drug treatment of SOS and treatment of multiorgan failure during severe SOS are major cost drivers. Worst case scenario calculations (assuming -25% risk of all adverse events for O-BU and +25% for IV-BU) yield up to €27,570 per ten patients with IV-BU.
CONCLUSIONS: Considering costs of adverse events and drugs, IV-BU is the dominant alternative from a German providers' perspective. For more comprehensive economic evaluations, additional epidemiological data, evidence on clinical outcomes, patient-reported outcomes, and treatment patterns are needed.

Yin J, Xiao Y, Zheng H, Zhang YC
Once-daily i.v. BU-based conditioning regimen before allogeneic hematopoietic SCT: a study of influence of GST gene polymorphisms on BU pharmacokinetics and clinical outcomes in Chinese patients.
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2015; 50(5):696-705 [PubMed] Related Publications
I.v. BU has been proven to have better bioavailability, reliable systemic drug exposure with more predictable blood levels and lower toxicity than oral BU when used as part of conditioning regimens before hematopoietic SCT (HSCT). Some studies have shown that once-daily i.v. BU had the same clinical efficacy as i.v. BU administered four times daily. To observe the clinical efficacy and pharmacokinetics (PK) of once-daily i.v. BU and to evaluate the influence of glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene polymorphisms on once-daily i.v. BU PK in adult Chinese patients with allogeneic HSCT, we analyzed 25 patients receiving related or unrelated donor transplant conditioned with i.v. BU-based regimens. With a median follow-up of 32.7 months, the 2-year OS and EFS were 64 and 63.8% for all the patients, respectively, and the 2-year cumulative incidence of relapse for all patients was 18.3%. On the basis of HPLC analysis, the mean clearance and mean daily area under the curve (AUC) of i.v. BU were calculated as 4.02 mL/min per kg and 3380.77 μM/min, respectively. The estimated Cmax was 1.031±0.0325 μg/mL. The estimated t1/2 and Vd values were 3.618±0.1932 h and 1.212±0.0352 L/kg. The once-daily i.v. BU-based conditioning regimen was very well tolerated with minor toxicity in patients, most likely because of dose assurance with predictable PK. There was no GSTA1 *B/*B homozygous patient in our Chinese patients. A significant association between BU metabolism and GSTA1 polymorphism was observed. The GSTA1 *A/*B genotype group showed a significantly higher AUC (P<0.0001), higher Cmax (P=0.0003) and lower clearance (P=0.0007) than the GSTA1 *A/*A genotype group. AUC was lower in GSTP1 *A/*A genotypes compared with*A/*G (P=0.0283) and *G/*G genotypes (P=0.0111). The BU clearance in GSTP1 *A/*A genotype was shown to be higher than *A/*G (P=0.0255) and *G/*G genotypes (P=0.0111). In addition, the differences of PK in BU among different ethnic groups existed because of the different distribution frequencies of GST gene polymorphism in Chinese patients and Caucasian patients.

Valdez BC, Li Y, Murray D, et al.
Comparison of the cytotoxicity of cladribine and clofarabine when combined with fludarabine and busulfan in AML cells: Enhancement of cytotoxicity with epigenetic modulators.
Exp Hematol. 2015; 43(6):448-61.e2 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clofarabine (Clo), fludarabine (Flu), and busulfan (Bu) combinations are efficacious in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for myeloid leukemia. We sought to determine whether the more affordable drug cladribine (Clad) can provide a viable alternative to Clo, with or without panobinostat (Pano) and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC). Both Clad+Flu+Bu and Clo+Flu+Bu combinations showed synergistic cytotoxicity in KBM3/Bu250(6), HL60, and OCI-AML3 cell lines. Cell exposure to these drug combinations resulted in 60%-80% inhibition of proliferation; activation of the ATM pathway; increase in histone modifications; decrease in HDAC3, HDAC4, HDAC5 and SirT7 proteins; decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential; activation of apoptosis and stress signaling pathways; and downregulation of the AKT pathway. These drug combinations activated DNA-damage response and apoptosis in primary cell samples from AML patients. At lower concentrations of Clad/Clo, Flu, and Bu, inclusion of Pano and DAC enhanced cell killing, increased histone modifications and DNA demethylation, and increased the levels of P16/INK4a, P15/INK4b and P21/Waf1/Cip1 proteins. The observed DNA demethylating activity of Clad and Clo may complement DAC activity; increase demethylation of the gene promoters for SFRP1, DKK3, and WIF1; and cause degradation of β-catenin in cells exposed to Clad/Clo+Flu+Bu+DAC+Pano. The overlapping activities of Clad/Clo+Flu+Bu, Pano, and DAC in DNA-damage formation and repair, histone modifications, DNA demethylation, and apoptosis may underlie their synergism. Our results provide a basis for supplanting Clo with Clad and for including epigenetic modifiers in the pre-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation conditioning regimen for myeloid leukemia patients.

Alousi AM, Brammer JE, Saliba RM, et al.
Phase II Trial of Graft-versus-Host Disease Prophylaxis with Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide after Reduced-Intensity Busulfan/Fludarabine Conditioning for Hematological Malignancies.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015; 21(5):906-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (CY) after ablative HLA-matched bone marrow (BM) transplantation has been reported to have comparable rates of acute GVHD with an apparent reduction in chronic GVHD and infections when compared to historical prophylaxis with a calcineurin-inhibitor (CNI) and methotrexate (MTX). We conducted a phase II trial of post-transplantation CY (post-CY) after reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) using intravenous busulfan (area under the curve of 4000 micromolar minute), fludarabine (40 mg/m(2)) for 4 days, and CY 50 mg/kg on days +3 and +4 after BM or peripheral blood (PB) transplantations from matched related (MRD) or unrelated donors (MUD). MUD recipients received antithymocyte globulin (ATG); however, a later amendment removed ATG. Forty-nine patients were treated (acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome, 82%). Median age was 62 years (range, 39 to 72). Fifteen patients received an MRD (9 PB/6 BM); 34 had a MUD (2 PB/32 BM). The cumulative incidence of grade II to IV acute GVHD, III to IV acute GVHD, and chronic GVHD was 58%, 22%, and 18%, respectively. A matched cohort analysis compared outcomes to tacrolimus/methotrexate GVHD prophylaxis and indicated higher rates of acute GVHD grade II to IV (46% versus 19%; hazard ratio [HR], 2.8; P = .02) and treatment-related mortality (HR, 3.3; P = .035) and worse overall survival (HR, 1.9; P = .04) with post-CY. The incidence of chronic GVHD and CMV reactivation did not differ. This study suggests that post-CY should not be used as sole GVHD prophylaxis after a RIC transplantation from HLA-matched donors.

Gürlek Gökçebay D, Azik F, Ozbek N, et al.
Clinical comparison of weight- and age-based strategy of dose administration in children receiving intravenous busulfan for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Pediatr Transplant. 2015; 19(3):307-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bu, combined with TDM-guided dosing, is associated with fewer graft failures/relapses and lower toxicity in pediatric HSCT. We aimed this retrospective study for comparison of weight- and age-based dosing in terms of clinical outcomes such as time to engraftment, early complications, EFS, OS, and toxicity profiles in children receiving iv Bu. Sixty-one children who underwent HSCT from April 2010 to February 2013 by means of a Bu-based conditioning regimen and completed 100 days after transplantation at Ankara Children?s Hematology and Oncology Hospital Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit were enrolled in this study. SOS and neutropenic fever occurred more frequently in the weight-based dosing group. We found a statistically significant correlation between Bu dose and the incidence of SOS (r = 0.26, p = 0.04). Multivariate analysis showed only weight-based dosing of Bu was a significant predictor of SOS (HR = 9.46; p = 0.009). However, no relationship was found between two groups in terms of hemorrhagic cystitis, engraftment syndrome, acute or chronic GvHD, time to engraftment, chimerism, TRM, OS, and EFS rates. Weight-based dosing of Bu may cause higher incidence of SOS and early infectious complications at the places where TDM of Bu cannot be performed.

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