Author(s): Ackland SP, Schilsky RL, Ackland SP, Schilsky RL
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Abstract High-dose methotrexate (HDMTX) with leucovorin (LV) rescue has been used as a therapeutic strategy in oncology for more than a decade. Administration of HDMTX results in tumoricidal plasma concentrations of the drug without significant host toxicity, provided that plasma MTX levels are monitored and LV rescue is properly administered. The original premise of LV rescue was that the provision of reduced folate to normal cells would circumvent the metabolic block produced by MTX and allow resumption of DNA synthesis, although the presumed therapeutic selectivity of leucovorin has not yet been adequately explained. Despite a strong pharmacologic rationale and a vast clinical experience, HDMTX with leucovorin rescue has not been shown to be unequivocally superior to conventional doses of MTX in any clinical situation except, perhaps, for treatment of osteogenic sarcoma and childhood acute leukemia. While HDMTX is an important component of effective treatment regimens for these diseases, its precise contribution to the success of these regimens remains undefined. Although HDMTX can theoretically overcome all known mechanisms of MTX resistance, no data exist to suggest that this can be accomplished in the clinic. Thus, this well-known but poorly understood treatment regimen must remain a subject of clinical investigation rather than a part of routine clinical practice.
This article was published in J Clin Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology