Arsenic derivatives in hematologic malignancies: A role beyond acute promyelocytic leukemia?

Srdan Verstovsek*, Francis Giles, Alfonso Quintás-Cardama, Nichole Perez, Farhad Ravandi-Kashani, Miloslav Beran, Emil Freireich, Hagop Kantarjian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The importance of arsenic trioxide (As2O3) has been underscored over the last decade due to its efficacy against acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a disease in which this agent has been associated with complete hematologic and molecular remission rates of 87% and 83%, respectively. The different molecular mechanisms of action of Asi2O3 suggest its applicability in hematologic malignancies other than APL. However, responses obtained thus far have consisted of improvements in signs and symptoms without the elimination of a given disease. Toxicities derived from As 2O3 are significant but manageable and reversible. However, the risk/benefit ratio of As2O3 in hematologic malignancies other than APL is still unclear. The development of new generations of orally bioavailable inorganic, as well as new organic, arsenic compounds with improved toxicity profiles may bolster the therapeutic application of arsenic derivatives in hematologic malignancies such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalHematological Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Arsenic trioxide
  • Hematologic malignancies
  • Organic arsenic derivatives
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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