Vosaroxin: A new valuable tool with the potential to replace anthracyclines in the treatment of AML?

Ciara Freeman, Niamh Keane, Ronan Swords, Francis Giles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite significant advances in diagnosis and supportive care, the majority of patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) ultimately die of their disease. Standard intensive induction treatment continues to comprise cytarabine and a topoisomerase II (topo II) poison, usually an anthracycline. Vosaroxin, a novel first-in-class quinolone derivative has been developed for use in the treatment of AML as a new-generation topo II inhibitor. It has shown promising activity as a monotherapy and also in combination with intermediate dose cytarabine (IDAC) in relapsed and refractory patient cohorts with minimal toxicity and good tolerability. Areas covered: The authors discuss the mechanism of action of vosaroxin, the pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability, preclinical and clinical trial results available as well as areas of ongoing research. Expert opinion: Vosaroxin has shown efficacy as a novel cytotoxic agent, and despite a similar mechanism of action has significant advantages over anthracyclines. It evades common resistance pathways of p53 and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and does not appear to generate significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) associated with these agents. Should future investigation confirm its efficacy and advantageous safety profile, vosaroxin could potentially replace older generation topoisomerase poisons in the treatment of AML and other malignant conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1427
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • AG-7352
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Anthracyclines
  • Ara-C
  • Cytarabine
  • Naphthyridine analog
  • P-glycoprotein
  • Quinolones
  • SNS-595
  • Topoisomerase II
  • Voreloxin
  • Vosaroxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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