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ABCB1 genetic variants in leukemias: current insights into treatment outcomes

Authors Ankathil R

Received 3 February 2017

Accepted for publication 13 April 2017

Published 12 May 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 169—181

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PGPM.S105208

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin Bluth


Ravindran Ankathil

Human Genome Centre, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia


Abstract: Despite improvements in treatment of different types of leukemia, not all patients respond optimally for a particular treatment. Some treatments will work better for some, while being harmful or ineffective for others. This is due to genetic variation in the form of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that affect gene expression or function and cause inherited interindividual differences in the metabolism and disposition of drugs. Drug transporters are one of the determinants governing the pharmacokinetic profile of chemotherapeutic drugs. The ABCB1 transporter gene transports a wide range of drugs, including drugs used in leukemia treatment. Polymorphisms in the ABCB1 gene do affect intrinsic resistance and pharmacokinetics of several drugs used in leukemia treatment protocols and thereby affect the efficacy of treatment and event-free survival. This review focuses on the impact of three commonly occurring SNPs (1236C>T, 2677G>T/A, and 3435C>T) of ABCB1 on treatment response of various types of leukemia. From the literature available, some of the genotypes and haplotypes of these SNPs have been found to be potential determinants of interindividual variability in drug disposition and pharmacologic response in different types of leukemia. However, due to inconsistencies in the results observed across the studies, additional studies, considering novel genomic methodologies, comprehensive definition of clinical phenotypes, adequate sample size, and uniformity in all the confounding factors, are warranted.

Keywords: leukemia, ABCB1 polymorphisms, chemotherapy response, survival

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