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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cerebrospinal fluid asparagine concentrations after Escherichia coli asparaginase in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

PURPOSE: The CNS is an important sanctuary site in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). CSF asparagine concentration reflects asparaginase systemic pharmacodynamics. We evaluated the time course of CSF asparagine depletion in children with ALL during and after a course of Escherichia coli asparaginase. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-one children (24 newly diagnosed and seven at relapse) received E coli asparaginase 10,000 IU/m2 intramuscularly three times weekly for six and nine doses, respectively, as part of multiagent induction chemotherapy. CSF asparagine levels were measured before, during, and after asparaginase dosing. RESULTS: The percentage of patients with undetectable (< 0.04 micromol/L) CSF asparagine was 3.2% (one of 31 patients) at baseline, 73.9% (17 of 23) during asparaginase therapy, and 56.3% (nine of 16) 1 to 5 days, 43.8% (seven of 16) 6 to 10 days, 20.0% (two of 10) 11 to 30 days and 0% (zero of 21) more than 30 days after asparaginase therapy. The proportion of patients with depleted CSF asparagine was higher during asparaginase therapy than at baseline (P < .001), 11 to 30 days (P = .003), and more than 30 days after asparaginase therapy (P < .001). Median CSF asparagine concentrations were 4.42 micromol/L before, less than 0.04 micromol/L during, and less than 0.04 micromol/L at 1 to 5 days, 1.63 micromol/L at 6 to 10 days, 1.70 micromol/L at 11 to 30 days, and 5.70 micromol/L at more than 30 days after asparaginase therapy, respectively. CSF depletion was more common in patients with low baseline CSF asparagine concentrations (P = .003). CONCLUSION: CSF asparagine concentrations are depleted by conventional doses of E coli asparaginase in the majority of patients, but they rebound once asparaginase therapy is completed.[1]


  1. Cerebrospinal fluid asparagine concentrations after Escherichia coli asparaginase in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Woo, M.H., Hak, L.J., Storm, M.C., Gajjar, A.J., Sandlund, J.T., Harrison, P.L., Wang, B., Pui, C.H., Relling, M.V. J. Clin. Oncol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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