The use of radiation and chemotherapy has resulted in steadily improving cure rates in both childhood and adult cancer patients. This therapeutic success, however, has been limited by the frequent development of secondary cancers in long term survivors. Examples of therapy-related cancers include myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. These neoplastic disorders are a consequence of the therapy induced- DNA damage in hematopoietic stem cells. Patients with potentially curable cancers represent a critical population for the development of strategies for chemoprevention of secondary malignancies. The goals of this proposal are the identification, characterization, and validation of agents that can prevent mutational damage in hematopoietic stem cells while preserving the anti-tumor efficacy of radiation and chemotherapy regimens. This novel paradigm of radioprotector-mediated chemoprevention is known as therapy coupled chemoprevention (TCC). To facilitate these studies, we will use the MLL-ELL knock-in mouse model that closely recapitulates the multistep process of transformation observed in human-related acute myeloid leukemia. These MLL-ELL knock-in mice do not develop leukemia spontaneously, but exhibit a high susceptibility to leukemia following exposure to a DNA damaging agent. This model will provide a novel and unique resource to test and validate TCC strategies for patients at risk for secondary cancers. TCC agents to be examined are amifostine and phosphonol, which each possess anti-mutagenic properties at doses 4- to 16- fold lower than those required to demonstrate classical cytoprotection. We will determine the maximum non- cytoprotective doses of these TCC agents in mice having 4 day old FSa "artificial" micro lung metastases treated with ionizing radiation and an alkylating-chemotherapeutic agent such as cyclophosphamide. Using the Hprt mutation assay, we will assess the anti-mutagenic effectiveness of TCC agents in MLL-ELL knock-in mice and their wild type counterparts following exposure to ionizing radiation and alkylating agent therapy. Using the MLL-ELL knock-in mouse model, we will also evaluate the efficacy of TCC to prevent radiation- and alkylating agent-induced mutations at the Hprt locus and the development of therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia in the same anima system.
This grant addresses the growing health problem of cancer patients cured of their first cancer by radiation and chemotherapy only to be diagnosed in later years with a cancer induced by those therapies. By appropriately administering to patients at the time of their radiation and chemotherapies cancer prevention drugs that can prevent mutations and cancer development without affecting the direct killing of cancer cells, patients will continued to be cured but without the risk of developing new cancers due to their treatments.
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