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Rebecca Olin, MD, MS


In Vitro Responsiveness to Chemotherapy May Predict Responses to Treatment in AML

By: Julia Fiederlein
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Marina A. Zenkova, DSc, of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, and colleagues analyzed whether in vitro evaluation of the initial tumor cell responsiveness to chemotherapeutic agents may be useful in predicting the responses of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) to planned chemotherapy. The results were published in Cancer Reports.   

“We demonstrated that the survival of patients with leukemia predominately depends on the treatment received, and the response of patients with leukemia to chemotherapy correlates with the drug responsiveness of tumor cells estimated in vitro at diagnosis,” the investigators remarked. “Thereby, evaluation of the initial sensitivity and resistance of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic drugs may be useful in predicting the patient’s response to planned chemotherapy and may serve as a substantial basis for modification of standard treatment protocols to overcome drug resistance in patients with leukemia.”

Using the Kaplan‐Meier method, the investigators retrospectively analyzed the survival of 127 patients. Peripheral blood and/or bone marrow samples were obtained from 37 patients at diagnosis to evaluate the drug sensitivity of tumor cells and the expression levels of immunologic markers. The investigators performed a correlation analysis using Spearman’s rank order correlation coefficient.

The defining factor for survival seemed to be the treatment regimen. Additionally, the initial responsiveness of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic drugs appeared to be correlated with the response to chemotherapy; patients with high tumor cell sensitivity to particular cytotoxic drugs seemed to exhibit good response to therapy, and those with initial resistance appeared to demonstrate a poor response. Drug resistance in leukemic cells seemed to be correlated with the expression of immature and aberrant immunophenotype markers.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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