Author(s): Bross PF, Beitz J, Chen G, Chen XH, Duffy E,
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Abstract PURPOSE: Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg; Wyeth Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA) consists of a semisynthetic derivative of calicheamicin, a cytotoxic antibiotic linked to a recombinant monoclonal antibody directed against the CD33 antigen present on leukemic myeloblasts in most patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this study, we review the preclinical and clinical profiles of this immunoconjugate and the regulatory review that led to marketing approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: From the literature and manufacturer's data, we review the activity, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of gemtuzumab ozogamicin in preclinical and Phase I studies and its activity, efficacy, and side effects in three Phase 2 trials of 142 patients with relapsed AML. RESULTS: In Phase I studies, the major toxicity was myelosuppression, especially neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, resulting from the expression of CD33 on myeloid progenitor cells. The Phase 2 dose was 9 mg/m(2) infused i.v. over 4 h, repeated on day 14. A minority of patients experienced acute infusion-related symptoms, usually transient and occasionally requiring hospitalization. The complete response (CR) rate with full recovery of hematopoiesis was 16\%. A subset of patients [CRs with incomplete platelet recovery (CRps)] was identified with blast clearance and neutrophil recovery but incomplete platelet recovery. The duration of responses of CRps appeared to be similar to those of the CRs, although the numbers were small. The question of the equivalence of these response groups was a central issue in the review of this new drug application (NDA). After considerable discussion, the Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee recommended allowing inclusion of CRps resulting in an overall response rate in the Phase 2 studies of 30\%. In the subgroup of patients over 60 years of age, the overall response rate was 26\%. Response duration was difficult to establish because of the high prevalence of postremission therapies. Tolerability and ease of administration may be improved compared with conventional chemotherapy, except for hepatotoxicity, with 31\% of patients exhibiting abnormal liver enzymes. One patient died of liver failure in the Phase 2 trials. CONCLUSIONS: Marketing approval of gemtuzumab ozogamicin was granted on May 17, 2000 by the United States Food and Drug Administration under the Accelerated Approval regulations. Gemtuzumab ozogamicin is indicated for the treatment of patients with CD33 positive AML in first relapse who are 60 years of age or older and who are not considered candidates for cytotoxic chemotherapy. The approved dose was 9 mg/m(2) i.v. over 4 h and repeated in 14 days. Completion of the ongoing studies of gemtuzumab ozogamicin in relapsed AML and initiation of randomized clinical trials comparing the effects of gemtuzumab ozogamicin in combination with conventional induction chemotherapy to conventional chemotherapy alone on survival are mandated to confirm clinical benefit under the accelerated approval Subpart H regulations. Postmarketing reports of fatal anaphylaxis, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and hepatotoxicity, especially venoocclusive disease (VOD) in patients treated with gemtuzumab ozogamicin, with and without associated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), have required labeling revisions and the initiation of a registration surveillance program. Tumor lysis and ARDS have been reported in patients with leukocytes above 30,000/ml treated with gemtuzumab ozogamicin; therefore, the reduction of leukocyte counts to below 30,000/ml is recommended prior to treatment. Patients should be carefully monitored for acute hypersensitivity, hypoxia, and delayed hepatotoxicity following treatment with gemtuzumab ozogamicin.
This article was published in Clin Cancer Res
and referenced in Current Synthetic and Systems Biology