, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 439–447


Adis Drug Profile

DOI: 10.2165/00003495-200868040-00004

Cite this article as:
Sanford, M. & Lyseng-Williamson, K.A. Drugs (2008) 68: 439. doi:10.2165/00003495-200868040-00004


  • ▴ Nelarabine is an anticancer prodrug of arabinofura-nosylguanine (ara-G), which is metabolized in cells to the cytotoxic metabolite ara-G triphosphate (ara-GTP).

  • ▴ Ara-GTP competes with deoxyguanosine triphosphate for incorporation into DNA. Once incorporated, it inhibits DNA synthesis and leads to high molecular weight DNA fragmentation and cell death.

  • ▴ In paediatric and adult patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia or T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, nelarabine induced a complete response, with or without complete haematological recovery, in approximately one-fifth of patients who had not responded to, or had relapsed following treatment with, two or more prior chemotherapy regimens.

  • ▴ The median overall survival time was 13.1 and 20.6 weeks in paediatric and adult patients, with corresponding 1-year survival rates of 14% and 29%.

  • ▴ Treatment-emergent adverse events were common, but non-haematological events were mostly of mild or moderate severity.

  • ▴ Neurological events, which may be severe and irreversible, were the most likely adverse events to limit treatment.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Sanford
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katherine A. Lyseng-Williamson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Wolters Kluwer Health ¦ AdisMairangi Bay, North Shore, AucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Wolters Kluwer HealthConshohockenUSA

Personalised recommendations