Targeting IDH Mutations in AML: Wielding the Double-edged Sword of Differentiation

Author(s): Justin S. Becker, Amir T. Fathi*

Journal Name: Current Cancer Drug Targets

Volume 20 , Issue 7 , 2020

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The genomic characterization of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) by DNA sequencing has illuminated subclasses of the disease, with distinct driver mutations, that might be responsive to targeted therapies. Approximately 15-23% of AML genomes harbor mutations in one of two isoforms of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1 or IDH2). These enzymes are constitutive mediators of basic cellular metabolism, but their mutated forms in cancer synthesize an abnormal metabolite, 2- hydroxyglutarate, that in turn acts as a competitive inhibitor of multiple gene regulatory enzymes. As a result, leukemic IDH mutations cause changes in genome structure and gene activity, culminating in an arrest of normal myeloid differentiation. These discoveries have motivated the development of a new class of selective small molecules with the ability to inhibit the mutant IDH enzymes while sparing normal cellular metabolism. These agents have shown promising anti-leukemic activity in animal models and early clinical trials, and are now entering Phase 3 study. This review will focus on the growing preclinical and clinical data evaluating IDH inhibitors for the treatment of IDH-mutated AML. These data suggest that inducing cellular differentiation is central to the mechanism of clinical efficacy for IDH inhibitors, while also mediating toxicity for patients who experience IDH Differentiation Syndrome. Ongoing trials are studying the efficacy of IDH inhibitors in combination with other AML therapies, both to evaluate potential synergistic combinations as well as to identify the appropriate place for IDH inhibitors within existing standard-of-care regimens.

Keywords: AML, isocitrate dehydrogenase, IDH1, IDH2, ivosidenib, enasidenib, differentiation syndrome, epigenetics.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Page: [490 - 500]
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.2174/1568009620666200424145622
Price: $65

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PDF: 12