Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 2014 September 9 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Tedeschi PM, Kathari YK, Farooqi IN, Bertino JR.



To investigate the ability of leucovorin (LV) to abrogate dose-limiting toxicities of pralatrexate (PDX) while maintaining efficacy, in vivo.


H2052 mesothelioma cells were treated with the antifolates methotrexate (MTX), PDX and pemetrexed, with and without LV rescue 24 h later. Cell killing was evaluated 48 h later. Female nude mice bearing H2052 xenografts were treated with varying doses and schedules of the antifolate PDX and LV.


In vitro, H2052 cells were more sensitive to PDX as compared to MTX and pemetrexed. Administration of LV 24 h after antifolate treatment reduced efficacy of antifolates MTX and pemetrexed, but not PDX. In vivo, LV was found to reduce toxicity of PDX at the maximum tolerated dose without sacrificing efficacy. Lethal doses of PDX were rescued by LV, and mice bearing the H2052 tumor demonstrated prolonged and enhanced tumor regression.


High-dose PDX with subsequent LV rescue may be a viable treatment strategy in mesothelioma and other cancers. The inclusion of LV rescue into new and existing PDX treatment protocols should be explored as a way to expand the tolerability and effectiveness of PDX in the clinic.