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Anti-tumoral effect of arsenic compound, sodium metaarsenite (KML001), in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: an in vitro and in vivo study.

Authors: Jin Sun JS. Yoon, Deok Won DW. Hwang, Eun Shil ES. Kim, Jung Soon JS. Kim, Sujong S. Kim, Hwa Jin HJ. Chung, Sang Kook SK. Lee, Jun Ho JH. Yi, Jieun J. Uhm, Young Woong YW. Won, Byeong Bae BB. Park, Jung Hye JH. Choi, Young Yiul YY. Lee
Published: 11/18/2015, Investigational new drugs


Arsenic compounds have been used in traditional medicine for several centuries. KML001 (sodium metaarsenite; NaAsO2) is an orally bio-available arsenic compound with potential anti-cancer activity. However, the effect of KML001 has not been studied in lymphoid neoplasms. The aim of this study is to evaluate the anti-proliferative effect of KML001 in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and to compare its efficacy with As2O3. KML001 inhibited cellular proliferation in all tested lymphoma cell lines as well as JurkatR cells (adriamycin-resistant Jurkat cells) in a dose-dependent manner, while As2O3 was not effective. Cell cycle regulatory protein studies have suggested that KML001 induces G1 arrest via p27-induced inhibition of the kinase activities of CDK2, 4, and 6. Treatment of KML001 induced apoptosis in Jurkat and JurkatR cells. The apoptotic process was associated with down-regulation of Bcl-2 (antiapoptotic molecule), up-regulation of Bax (proapoptotic molecule), and inhibition of caspase-3, -8, and -9. In addition, cell signaling including the STAT, PI3K/Akt, MAPK, and NF-κB signal pathways were inhibited in KML001-treated Jurkat and JurkatR cells. Furthermore, targeting the telomere by KML001 was observed in the Jurkat and JurkatR cells. The In vivo anti-tumoral activity of KML001 was confirmed in a xenograft murine model. Interestingly, partial responses were seen in two lymphoma patients treated with 10 mg/day (follicular lymphoma for 16 weeks and mantle cell lymphoma for 24 weeks) without severe toxicities. These findings suggest that KML001 may be a candidate agent for the treatment of de novo, refractory, and relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients.

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