Quizartinib Improves Survival in Select Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia

According to the drug developer the novel precision cancer medicine, quizartinib improves the survival of individuals with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with FLT3-ITD mutations when compared to standard salvage chemotherapy.1

About Acute Myeloid Leukemia with FLT3-ITD Mutations

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is diagnosed in approximately 20,000 individuals each year in the United States. It is an aggressive leukemia, with the lowest survival rates of any acute leukemias. Standard therapy for AML has remained essentially unchanged in the past 25 years, demonstrating a clear need for novel strategies. The five-year survival rate of AML reported from 2005 to 2011 was approximately 26 percent.2

AML prevents certain immune cells from developing properly, leaving them in immature stages. These cancerous cells, referred to as “blasts,” are not able to fight infection as intended, and rapidly accumulate in the body. This crowds out other blood cells so that they are not able to carry out their essential functions.

A FLT3 gene mutation is one of the most common genetic abnormalities in AML.2 The FLT3-ITD mutation is the most common FLT3 mutation, affecting approximately one in four AML patients. Patients with FLT3-ITD-mutated AML have a worse overall prognosis and new treatment strategies are needed to improve the survival of these high-risk patients.3,4

About Quizartinib

Quizartinib, is an oral novel precision cancer medicine selective for the FLT3 ligand. Quizartinib potently and selectively inhibits FLT3-ITD tyrosine kinase which is a growth driver of abnormal cells that contribute to the development of AML.4 Quizartinib has been granted Fast Track designation by the FDA for the treatment of relapsed/refractory AML.

Results of the QuANTUM-R clinical trial that enrolled 367 patients with FLT3-ITD-mutated AML who were refractory to or in relapse following standard first-line AML therapy with or without HSCT will be reported soon at a major medical meeting.  In the study AML patients were treated with either oral quizartinib or salvage chemotherapy and directly compared. The developer has reported that analyses of the study confirms that quizartinib prolongs survival compared to salvage chemotherapy but did not report the magnitude of the benefit.  Quizartinib is the first FLT3 inhibitor to demonstrate improved overall survival compared with chemotherapy in patients with relapsed/refractory AML with FLT3-ITD mutations.

References

  1. https://www.daiichisankyo.com/media_investors/media_relations/press_releases/detail/006846.html
  2. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Facts 2015-2016. 2016.
  3. Small D. Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2006;178-84.
  4. Brunet, et al. J Clin Onc. 2012;30(7):735-741.

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