Published: 2015-04-05

Toxicity profile of anticancer drugs in acute lymphoblastic leukemia and protective role of vitamin E on these toxicities in albino rats

Regina Roy, Hema CG, Geetha N


Background: Objectives: (1) To study the spectrum of toxicity due to chemotherapy as per MCP841 protocol during the acute phase of treatment of patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). (2) To study the same toxicities in albino rats and the protective role of vitamin E on these toxicities.

Methods: This was a prospective clinical study for one year, in the department of medical oncology and paediatric oncology which was augmented by experimental animal study for 5 months using albino rats. For clinical study, patients diagnosed as ALL taking treatment as per MCP841 protocol were taken. Patients were followed up every day to detect the development of any type of adverse reactions or toxicity symptoms. Laboratory tests done during the course of chemotherapy were reviewed for any abnormality. Animal study involved 18 albino rats; rats were divided into 3 Groups; Group 1 - control (n=6), Group 2 - antileukaemic treated rats (n=6), Group 3 - antileukaemic drugs and vitamin-E treated rats (n=6). 

Results: In the clinical study major toxicities observed were haematological, metabolic, gastrointestinal, general infection, neurotoxicity, pancreatitis, pneumonitis and jaundice. Neurosensory toxicity presented as numbness in the extremities and hyperalgesia and myalgia. Histopathological examination of the internal organs of albino rats studied showed protection of vitamin E for the gastric toxicity, pancreatitis, cardiac toxicity, neuro toxicity and hepatic toxicity whereas there was no reduction in splenic and renal toxicities. In the case of haematological toxicity, protection was only minimal.

Conclusions: The animal study revealed the protective role of vitamin E on cytostatic drug induced toxicities. 

Keywords: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), Antileukaemic drugs, Vitamin E (Vit. E), MCP841 protocol

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