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Effects of L-Asparaginase on Plasma Amino Acid Profiles and Tumor Burden in Cats with Lymphoma
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2008)
  • A. K. LeBlanc
  • S. K. Cox
  • C. A. Kirk
  • S. J. Newman
  • Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • A. M. Legendre

Background: L-Asparaginase (Elspara), is an Escherichia coli-derived enzyme that depletes lymphoma cells of asparagine, inhibiting protein synthesis and resulting in cell death. The single agent response rate in cats with lymphoma and impact of L-asparaginase on plasma amino acid concentrations is unknown.

Hypotheses: L-Asparaginase significantly reduces plasma asparagine concentrations and has demonstrable efficacy against untreated lymphoma in cats.

Animals: Thirteen cats with confirmed lymphoma (LSA) of any anatomic site were given 1 dose 400 IU/kg IM) of L-asparaginase for initial LSA treatment.

Methods: Plasma collected at 0, 2, and 7 days after L-asparaginase therapy was assayed for ammonia, asparagine, aspartic acid, glutamine, and glutamic acid concentrations. Cats were restaged 7 days later to assess tumor response.

Results: Eight cats had T-cell LSA, 4 cats had B-cell LSA, and 1 cat's immunophenotype was unknown. Two complete and 2 partial responses to L-asparaginase were seen. Four cats had stable disease, and 5 cats had progressive disease. Ammonia and aspartic acid concentrations were increased from baseline at 2 and 7 days posttreatment. Asparagine concentrations were decreased from baseline at 2 days but not 7 days posttreatment. Glutamic acid concentrations were increased at day 2 compared to day 7 posttreatment but not compared to baseline. Glutamine concentrations were unchanged.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: L-Asparaginase significantly reduced asparagine concentrations within 2 days of treatment, but this effect was lost within 7 days. The apparent overall response rate of feline LSA to L-asparaginase in this study was 30%.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2007.tb03018.x

  • Amino acids,
  • Feline cancer,
  • L-Asparaginase
Publication Date
Citation Information
A. K. LeBlanc, S. K. Cox, C. A. Kirk, S. J. Newman, et al.. "Effects of L-Asparaginase on Plasma Amino Acid Profiles and Tumor Burden in Cats with Lymphoma" Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine Vol. 21 Iss. 4 (2008)
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