A Phase I clinical study of the antipurine antifolate lometrexol (DDATHF) given with oral folic acid
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Lometrexol is an antifolate which inhibits glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase (GARFT), an enzyme essential for de novo purine synthesis. Extensive experimental and limited clinical data have shown that lometrexol has activity against tumours which are refractory to other drugs, notably methotrexate. However, the initial clinical development of lometrexol was curtailed because of severe and cumulative antiproliferative toxicities.
Preclinical murine studies demonstrated that the toxicity of lometrexol can be prevented by low dose folic acid administration, i.e. for 7 days prior to and 7 days following a single bolus dose. This observation prompted a Phase I clinical study of lometrexol given with folic acid supplementation which has confirmed that the toxicity of lometrexol can be markedly reduced by folic acid supplementation. Thrombocytopenia and mucositis were the major toxicities. There was no clear relationship between clinical toxicity and the extent of plasma folate elevation.
Associated studies demonstrated that lometrexol plasma pharmacokinetics were not altered by folic acid administration indicating that supplementation is unlikely to reduce toxicity by enhancing lometrexol plasma clearance.
The work described in this report has identified for the first time a clinically acceptable schedule for the administration of a GARFT inhibitor. This information will facilitate the future evaluation of this class of compounds in cancer therapy.
Key wordslometrexol lometrexol-toxicity lometrexol-clinical efficacy lometrexol and folic acid DDATHF
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