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Arsenic trioxide is effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma in SCID mice

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Rousselot P, Larghero J, Labaume S, Poupon J, Chopin M, Dosquet C, Marolleau J-P, Janin A, Brouet J-C, Fermand J-P. Arsenic trioxide is effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma in SCID mice.

Eur J Haematol 2004: 72: 166–171. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2004. Abstract: Objectives

: Pharmacological concentrations of arsenic trioxide (ATO) and organic arsenic melarsoprol induce apoptosis in malignant plasma cells. In an attempt to further document the interest of the arsenic in vivo, we treated severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice transplanted with human myeloma cells by ATO or melarsoprol. Methods

: Fifty-two SCID mice were irradiated before intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of plasma cells from five myeloma patients. Engraftment was assessed by serial measurement of the human monoclonal immunoglobulin G (HuMIgG) concentration in mouse serum. Treatment with ATO (10 g/g i.p. 5 d a week), melarsoprol (30 g/g i.p. 5 d a week) or phosphate buffer saline was started when a sustained growth of the tumor cells was demonstrated. Results

: Seventeen mice developed the human tumor. A significant decrease in HuMIgG amounts was observed in three of five mice of the ATO group, including two that achieved an apparent complete remission persisting up to 5 months after ATO discontinuation. In these mice, no human plasma cells were detected in tissue samples collected postmortem. Soluble human interleukin-6 receptor amount, measured in mice sera as a surrogate marker of the plasma cell proliferation, varied in parallel with HuMIgG concentration. A significant difference in survival was observed between control and ATO treated mice (113 and 158 d, respectively; P = 0.01) whereas no difference could be evidenced in control and melarsoprol groups. Conclusion

: Present study confirms in vivo the in vitro effects of ATO on myeloma cells. Delayed relapses were observed suggesting that prolonged or maintenance therapy has to be considered in future clinical trials. Whether or not this will translate into clinically relevant effect of the drug in myeloma patients deserves further consideration.
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Keywords: SCID mice; arsenic trioxide; melarsoprol; multiple myeloma

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Service d'Immuno-Hématologie et Laboratoire d'Immunopathologie, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France 2: Laboratoire de Biochimie Toxicologie, Hôpital Fernand Widal, Paris, France 3: Inserm U462, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France 4: Laboratoire de Thérapie Cellulaire, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France 5: Laboratoire d'Anatomie Pathologique, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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