Plasma TNF-α and soluble TNF receptor levels after doxorubicin with or without Co-administration of mesna - A randomized, cross-over clinical study

John Hayslip, Emily V. Dressler, Heidi Weiss, Tammy J. Taylor, Mara Chambers, Teresa Noel, Sumitra Miriyala, Jeriel T.R. Keeney, Xiaojia Ren, Rukhsana Sultana, Mary Vore, D. Allan Butterfield, Daret St Clair, Jeffrey A. Moscow

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37 Scopus citations


Purpose: Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI) is a common sequelae of cancer therapy. Recent preclinical observations have suggested that CICI can be mediated by chemotherapy-induced plasma protein oxidation, which triggers TNF-α mediated CNS damage. This study evaluated sodium-2-mercaptoethane sulfonate (Mesna) co-administration with doxorubicin to reduce doxorubicin-induced plasma protein oxidation and resultant cascade of TNF-α, soluble TNF receptor levels and related cytokines. Methods: Thirty-two evaluable patients were randomized using a crossover design to receive mesna or saline in either the first or second cycle of doxorubicin in the context of a standard chemotherapy regimen for either non-Hodgkin lymphoma or breast cancer. Mesna (360 mg/m2) or saline administration occurred 15 minutes prior and three hours post doxorubicin. Pre-treatment and post-treatment measurements of oxidative stress, TNF-α and related cytokines were evaluated during the two experimental cycles of chemotherapy. Results: Co-administration of mesna with chemotherapy reduced post-treatment levels of TNF-related cytokines and TNF-receptor 1 (TNFR1) and TNF-receptor 2 (TNFR2) (p = 0.05 and p = 0.002, respectively). Patients with the highest pre-treatment levels of each cytokine and its receptors were the most likely to benefit from mesna co-administration. Conclusions: The extracellular anti-oxidant mesna, when co-administered during a single cycle of doxorubicin, reduced levels of TNF-α and its receptors after that cycle of therapy, demonstrating for the first time a clinical interaction between mesna and doxorubicin, drugs often coincidentally co-administered in multi-agent regimens. These findings support further investigation to determine whether rationally-timed mesna co-administration with redox active chemotherapy may prevent or reduce the cascade of events that lead to CICI. Trial Registration: NCT01205503.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0124988
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 24 2015

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