Decitabine priming enhances the antileukemic effects of exportin 1 (XPO1) selective inhibitor selinexor in acute myeloid leukemia.

Ranganathan P, Yu X, Santhanam R, Hofstetter J, Walker A, Walsh K, Bhatnagar B, Klisovic R, Vasu S, Phelps MA, Devine S, Shacham S, Kauffman M, Marcucci G, Blum W, Garzon R
Blood 125 2689-92 04/23/2015


The prognosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is poor, highlighting the need for novel treatments. Hypomethylating agents, including decitabine are used to treat elderly AML patients with relative success. Targeting nuclear export receptor (exportin 1 [XPO1]) is a novel approach to restore tumor suppressor (TS) function in AML. Here, we show that sequential treatment of AML blasts with decitabine followed by selinexor (XPO1 inhibitor) enhances the antileukemic effects of selinexor. These effects could be mediated by the re-expression of a subset of TSs (CDKN1A and FOXO3A) that are epigenetically silenced via DNA methylation, and cytoplasmic-nuclear trafficking is regulated by XPO1. We observed a significant upregulation of CDKN1A and FOXO3A in decitabine- versus control-treated cells. Sequential treatment of decitabine followed by selinexor in an MV4-11 xenograft model significantly improved survival compared with selinexor alone. On the basis of these preclinical results, a phase 1 clinical trial of decitabine followed by selinexor in elderly patients with AML has been initiated.

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