To define the relationship between leukemic cell growth, intracellular metabolism of 1-B-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (ara-C), and the clinical response to timed sequential induction therapy with ara-C in adult acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), growth kinetic and biochemical pharmacologic determinants were examined in AML bone marrow populations. Leukemic blasts from 45 previously untreated patients obtained prior to therapy were cultured in vitro in autologous pretreatment serum (APS) and in serum containing drug-induced humoral stimulatory activity (HSA). Cell populations cultured in HSA demonstrated both increased proliferation, as measured by both [3H]dThd incorporation into DNA and [3H]dThd leukemic blast labeling index, and greater [3H] ara-C leukemic blast labeling index relative to cells maintained in APS. HSA-cultured marrow cells from the 31 patients who achieved complete remission with ara-C-containing therapy demonstrated enhanced intracellular formation of ara-C 5'-triphosphate over three hours and retention of this active form during one subsequent hour in drug-free medium relative to cells maintained in APS. In contrast, cells from the 14 nonresponsive patients demonstrated no such HSA-induced increases in intracellular ara-C metabolism. These studies of human AML marrow cells identify behavior patterns of ara-C activation and net metabolism in the kinetically perturbed, proliferative state that may discriminate clinical sensitivity from clinical resistance to ara-C-based timed sequential therapy. Sensitive AML populations behave similarly to normal hematopoietic cohorts, with direct linkage of HSA-perturbed growth and pharmacologic parameters, while refractory cells demonstrate uncoupling of these determinants in the growth-stimulated state. These in vitro measurements may further serve as a template for prediction of clinical outcome to timed sequential therapy with ara-C, where both pharmacologic and cytokinetic determinants of response are intrinsic to the success of the designed drug scheduling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology