Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 93–106 | Cite as

WR2721 as a modulator of cisplatin-and carboplatin-induced side effects in comparison with other chemoprotective agents: a molecular approach

  • Marco Treskes
  • Wim J. F. van der Vijgh
Review WR2721, Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Chemoprotective Agents


Cisplatin is an active cytostatic that became successful in the treatment of several types of solid tumours after its nephrotoxic potential was controlled by hydration and diuresis. Thiol compounds were tested to reduce further cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity. Thiosulphate is rapidly excreted by the kidneys and protects against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity by inactivating reactive platinum species in the kidney. Due to inactivation of cisplatin in the circulation, thiosulphate also interferes with its antitumour activity. Therefore, it is mainly used in two-route schedules, whereby cisplatin is delivered locally to the tumour (i.p. or i.a.) while systemic (i.v.) thiosulphate protects the kidneys. Diethyldithiocarbamate was shown to protect against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in several animal models by reversing cellular damage. However, in the clinic it has been less successful, partly due to its central nervous system toxicity. The endogenous thiol compounds glutathione and metallothionein have been shown to reduce cisplatin-induced toxicity both in animal models and in clinical trials. However, the results are rather preliminary and a reduction in therapeutic efficacy may be expected, for both glutathione and metallothionein have been reported to be involved in platinum resistance. The thioether methionine has been shown to reduce cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in animal models but it has not yet been tested in the clinic. Cisplatin-induced acute emesis can be sufficiently controlled with a new class of 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 (5HT3)-receptor blockers, but delayed emesis remains a problem. High-dose cisplatin regimens with protection of the kidneys induces ototoxicity, peripheral neuropathy and myelotoxicity, which become doselimiting. Neurotoxicity was partly reversed by the neurogenerative agent ORG2766, but this agent does not reduce other cisplatin-induced toxicities. Therefore, an agent capable of protecting multiple non-tumour tissues is needed. Carboplatin is a second-generation analogue of cisplatin with less nephro-, neuro-and ototoxicity. Carboplatin is at least as active as cisplatin at its maximum tolerated dose, which is defined by its myelotoxicity. Protection from carboplatin-induced myelotoxicity may be controlled by autologous bone marrow transplantation and/or hematopoietic growth factor infusions. High-dose carboplatin schedules may cause nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity and ototoxicity. Again, the protection of multiple non-tumour tissues is needed. WR2721 appears to be such a modulating agent capable of protecting multiple non-tumour tissues. It was shown to be preferentially metabolized and taken up as the thiol metabolite WR1065 by non-tumour tissues as compared with *hypoxic) solid tumours. It was shown to protect mice from cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity and from cisplatin-and carboplatin-induced myelotoxicity without interfering with the antitumour activity. The first clinical studies suggest the same selective protection of multiple non-tumour tissues from cisplatin-induced toxicity. This could be explained by a strong prevention (not reversal) of cisplatin-induced cellular damage by WR1065, whereas WR2721 or its main metabolites will hardly inactivate the intact platinum-based drug in the circulation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Treskes
    • 1
  • Wim J. F. van der Vijgh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OncologyFree University HospitalAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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