Combination of antisense oligonucleotide and low-dose chemotherapy in hematological malignancies

J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 1997 Jun;37(4):229-35. doi: 10.1016/s1056-8719(97)00034-8.


Current conventional chemotherapy for the treatment of hematological malignancies, although quite effective, has associated toxicities to normal tissue and organs, which is still a major dose limiting factor. In addition, high dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation is limited by tumor cell contamination in the stem cell harvest. The use of conventional chemotherapy alone to purge these tumor cell contaminants is known to damage normal hematopoietic progenitor cells, resulting in delayed engraftment. The combination of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) and low doses of chemotherapy offer a potential regiment which may lower the doses of conventional therapeutics required to effectively combat disease, thus lowering cytotoxicity experienced by normal cells. Transient downregulation of genes by ODN treatment, which are involved in the transformation or perpetuation of the cancerous disease state, can remove the growth and survival advantages exploited by tumor cells. Many groups are currently investigating this combination and have produced intriguing results. This review article discusses the current research investigating the combination of antisense ODN therapy with conventional chemotherapy in the treatment of hematological malignancies. Although further improvements in this strategy are required, the results thus far support a future for this strategy in clinical management of hematological malignancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy / trends
  • Down-Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / administration & dosage
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense