Arsenic trioxide is effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma in SCID mice.


OBJECTIVES Pharmacological concentrations of arsenic trioxide (ATO) and organic arsenic melarsoprol induce apoptosis in malignant plasma cells. In an attempt to further document the interest of the arsenic in vivo, we treated severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice transplanted with human myeloma cells by ATO or melarsoprol. METHODS Fifty-two SCID mice were irradiated before intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of plasma cells from five myeloma patients. Engraftment was assessed by serial measurement of the human monoclonal immunoglobulin G (HuMIgG) concentration in mouse serum. Treatment with ATO (10 microg/g i.p. 5 d a week), melarsoprol (30 microg/g i.p. 5 d a week) or phosphate buffer saline was started when a sustained growth of the tumor cells was demonstrated. RESULTS Seventeen mice developed the human tumor. A significant decrease in HuMIgG amounts was observed in three of five mice of the ATO group, including two that achieved an apparent complete remission persisting up to 5 months after ATO discontinuation. In these mice, no human plasma cells were detected in tissue samples collected postmortem. Soluble human interleukin-6 receptor amount, measured in mice sera as a surrogate marker of the plasma cell proliferation, varied in parallel with HuMIgG concentration. A significant difference in survival was observed between control and ATO treated mice (113 and 158 d, respectively; P = 0.01) whereas no difference could be evidenced in control and melarsoprol groups. CONCLUSION Present study confirms in vivo the in vitro effects of ATO on myeloma cells. Delayed relapses were observed suggesting that prolonged or maintenance therapy has to be considered in future clinical trials. Whether or not this will translate into clinically relevant effect of the drug in myeloma patients deserves further consideration.


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@article{Rousselot2004ArsenicTI, title={Arsenic trioxide is effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma in SCID mice.}, author={Philippe Rousselot and J{\'e}r{\^o}me Largh{\'e}ro and Sylvaine Labaume and J{\"{o}el Poupon and Martine Chopin and Christine C Dosquet and Jean-Pierre Marolleau and Anne Janin and J L Brouet and Jean-Paul Fermand}, journal={European journal of haematology}, year={2004}, volume={72 3}, pages={166-71} }