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Pitfalls, prevention, and treatment of hyperuricemia during tumor lysis syndrome in the era of rasburicase (recombinant urate oxidase)

Authors Pession A, Melchionda F, Castellini C

Published 7 March 2008 Volume 2008:2(1) Pages 129—141


Andrea Pession, Fraia Melchionda, Claudia Castellini

Oncologia Ematologia Pediatrica “Lalla Seràgnoli”, Clinica Pediatrica, Università degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Abstract: Along with hydration and urinary alkalinization, allopurinol has been the standard agent for the management of hyperuricemia in patients with a high tumor burden at risk of tumor lysis syndrome; however, this agent often fails to prevent and treat this complication effectively. Rasburicase (recombinant urate oxidase) has been shown to be effective in reducing uric acid and preventing uric acid accumulation in patients with hematologic malignancies with hyperuricemia or at high risk of developing it. Rasburicase acts at the end of the purine catabolic pathway and, unlike allopurinol, does not induce accumulation of xanthine or hypoxanthine. Its rapid onset of action and the ability to lower pre-existing elevated uric acid levels are the advantages of rasburicase over allopurinol. Rasburicase represents an effective alternative to allopurinol to promptly reduce uric acid levels, improve patient’s electrolyte status, and reverse renal insufficiency. The drug, initially studied in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, seems to show comparable benefit in adults with similar lymphoid malignancies or at high risk of tumor lysis syndrome. Current and future trials will evaluate alternative doses and different schedules of rasburicase to maintain its efficacy while reducing its cost. The review provides a comprehensive and detailed review of pathogenesis, laboratory, and clinical presentation of TLS together with clinical studies already performed both in pediatric and adult patients.

Keywords: tumor lysis syndrome, urate oxidase, rasburicase, allopurinol, uric acid

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