Pegaspargase: A Review in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
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Conflicts of interest: Young-A Heo, Yahiya Syed and Susan Keam are salaried employees of Adis/Springer, are responsible for the article content and declare no relevant conflicts of interest.
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Pegaspargase (Oncaspar®), a pegylated form of native Escherichia coli-derived L-asparaginase (hereafter referred as E. coli L-asparaginase), is indicated in the USA and EU for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) as a component of multi-agent chemotherapy in paediatric and adult patients. Relative to E. coli L-asparaginase, pegaspargase has a prolonged circulation time, thereby offering less frequent administration. Moreover, pegylation of E. coli L-asparaginase may diminish the immunogenicity of the enzyme. Based on extensive evidence, intramuscular (IM) or intravenous (IV) administration of pegaspargase as a component of a multi-agent chemotherapy is an effective first-line treatment for paediatric and adult patients with ALL, as well as for the treatment of paediatric and adult patients with ALL and hypersensitivity to E. coli L-asparaginase. Pegaspargase had a manageable tolerability profile in paediatric and adult patients with newly diagnosed ALL, with the most commonly occurring adverse events being generally consistent to that seen with E. coli L-asparaginase. Pegaspargase treatment in patients with relapsed ALL and hypersensitivity to E. coli L-asparaginase had a similar tolerability profile to that observed in patients with newly diagnosed ALL. Given the potentially reduced immunogenicity and more convenient dosage regimen over E. coli L-asparaginase, pegaspargase remains an important and effective treatment option for paediatric and adult patients with ALL, including those with hypersensitivity to E. coli L-asparaginase.
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