Purpose: CPI-613, a lipoate analogue that inhibits pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) and α-ketogluterate dehydrogenase (KGDH), has activity in patients with myeloid malignancies. This study explored the role of mitochondrial metabolism in chemotherapy response and determined the MTD, efficacy, and safety of CPI-613 combined with high-dose cytarabine and mitoxantrone in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia.Experimental Design: The role of mitochondrial response to chemotherapy was assessed in cell lines and animal models. A phase I study of CPI-613 plus cytarabine and mitoxantrone was conducted in patients with relapsed or refractory AML.Results: Exposure to chemotherapy induced mitochondrial oxygen consumption that depended on PDH. CPI-613 sensitized AML cells to chemotherapy indicating that mitochondrial metabolism is a source of resistance. Loss of p53 did not alter response to CPI-613. The phase I study enrolled 67 patients and 62 were evaluable for response. The overall response rate was 50% (26CR+5CRi/62). Median survival was 6.7 months. In patients over 60 years old, the CR/CRi rate was 47% (15/32) with a median survival of 6.9 months. The response rate for patients with poor-risk cytogenetics also was encouraging with 46% (11/24 patients) achieving a CR or CRi. RNA sequencing analysis of a subset of baseline bone marrow samples revealed a gene expression signature consistent with the presence of B cells in the pretreatment marrow of responders.Conclusions: The addition of CPI-613 to chemotherapy is a promising approach in older patients and those with poor-risk cytogenetics. Clin Cancer Res; 24(9); 2060-73. ©2018 AACR.
©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.