Purpose: In preclinical studies, the lysine-specific histone demethylase 1A (LSD1) inhibitor tranylcypromine (TCP) combined with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) induces differentiation and impairs survival of myeloid blasts in non-acute promyelocytic leukemia acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We conducted a phase I clinical trial (NCT02273102) to evaluate the safety and activity of ATRA plus TCP in patients with relapsed/refractory AML and myelodysplasia (MDS). Patients and Methods: Seventeen patients were treated with ATRA and TCP (three dose levels: 10 mg twice daily, 20 mg twice daily, and 30 mg twice daily). Results: ATRA-TCP had an acceptable safety profile. The MTD of TCP was 20 mg twice daily. Best responses included one morphologic leukemia-free state, one marrow complete remission with hematologic improvement, two stable disease with hematologic improvement, and two stable disease. By intention to treat, the overall response rate was 23.5% and clinical benefit rate was 35.3%. Gene expression profiling of patient blasts showed that responding patients had a more quiescent CD34+ cell phenotype at baseline, including decreased MYC and RARA expression, compared with nonresponders that exhibited a more proliferative CD34+ phenotype, with gene expression enrichment for cell growth signaling. Upon ATRA-TCP treatment, we observed significant induction of retinoic acid-target genes in responders but not nonresponders. We corroborated this in AML cell lines, showing that ATRA-TCP synergistically increased differentiation capacity and cell death by regulating the expression of key gene sets that segregate patients by their clinical response. Conclusions: These data indicate that LSD1 inhibition sensitizes AML cells to ATRA and may restore ATRA responsiveness in subsets of patients with MDS and AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research