Advances in the management of malignancy-associated hyperuricaemia.
Acute tumour lysis syndrome (ATLS) is a metabolic derangement (hyperuricaemia, hyperphosphataemia, hyperkalaemia and hypocalcaemia) associated with lymphoproliferative malignancies. The nature and severity of the metabolic alterations are variable. Major complications are oliguric acute renal failure and delays in initiating chemotherapy. Current management of ATLS includes hydration, alkalinization, diuretics, when indicated, and the reduction of uric acid levels using allopurinol or urate oxidase. Allopurinol inhibits xanthine oxidase, an enzyme that catalyses the conversion of hypoxanthine and xanthine to uric acid. Urate oxidase (Uricozyme), a naturally occurring proteolytic enzyme in many mammals, degrades uric acid to allantoins, which are ten times more soluble than uric acid and easily eliminated by the kidneys. Recently, Sanofi Research isolated a recombinant urate oxidase (SR29142) as a cDNA clone from Aspergillus flavus, expressed in the yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Preclinical studies have documented its biological effects as a urolytic enzyme. Twenty-eight healthy male volunteers received SR29142, and a rapid decline of uric acid below measurable levels was seen within 4 h in all patients receiving a dose of more than 0.10 mg kg(-1). Currently, SR29142 is undergoing clinical studies in both Europe and the USA in patients with acute leukaemias or B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to demonstrate its efficacy and safety in this population of patients at highest risk of developing ATLS or its life-threatening sequelae.
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