Introduction: Approximately one-third of the patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) harbor internal tandem duplication (ITD) in the gene encoding FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3-ITD), which is associated with poor prognosis. Over the course of the last decade, several FLT3 inhibitors have been developed. Nevertheless, the pharmacokinetic limitations of some of these compounds as well as their potency have limited their therapeutic efficacy. Quizartinib (AC220) is a second-generation FLT3 inhibitor that has shown promising activity in AML in Phase II clinical trials.
Areas covered: The pharmacokinetic, mechanism of action and resistance as well as clinical studies of quizartinib in AML are reported here in detail.
Expert opinion: Quizartinib is potent and selective FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitor with significant activity in both FLT3-mutant and wild-type AML. The quality and duration of achievable response thus far seen with this agent is suboptimal. Quizartinib in combination with chemotherapy might result in improved outcome and results of these trials are eagerly awaited. In addition, quizartinib in combination with other agents tackling the bone marrow microenvironment and FLT3 cooperative pathways may enhance response to quizartinib.