Heme arginate treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes.

Leukemia research

PubMedID: 3379975

Volin L, Ruutu T, Knuutila S, Tenhunen R. Heme arginate treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes. Leuk Res. 1988;12(5):423-31.
Heme arginate was given to 26 patients with a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) as infusions of 2-3 mg/kg body weight weekly for 8-12 weeks. Most of the patients first received a loading dose on four consecutive days. Six of the patients showed improvement in cytopenias during the therapy. In three of the responders severely depressed blood cell counts recovered to normal or close to normal. So far the maximum duration of a response after the cessation of the treatment is 25 months, and the two ongoing responses have lasted for 11 and 12 months, respectively. In two responders of the eight patients with more than 15% ring sideroblasts the number of ring sideroblasts decreased during the treatment but remained unchanged in six non-responders. The responders were characterized by a low or low normal heme synthase activity which increased during the treatment, whereas the non-responders showed a higher mean heme synthase activity which decreased during the treatment. In general, the responders had significantly fewer defects in heme synthetic enzyme activities than the non-responders. FAB type, karyotype or growth pattern in in vitro cultures of hematopoietic progenitors did not predict the response. Apart from one case of mild venous irritation, no other adverse effects were seen. The present study shows that heme arginate induces beneficial effects on cytopenia in some MDS patients and has very few side-effects.