Symptomatic hypoglycemia: An unusual side effect of oral purine analogues for treatment of ALL

Faculty of Medicine, Yüzüncü Yil University, Van, Turkey.
Pediatric Blood & Cancer (Impact Factor: 2.56). 09/2006; 47(3):330-1. DOI: 10.1002/pbc.20582
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Symptomatic hypoglycemia is an unusual complication in children receiving oral purine analogues for treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The exact mechanism of the hypoglycemic effect of the antimetabolic therapy remains unclear. Reduced hepatic glycogen stores or impaired hepatic glyconeogenesis may partly explain the hypoglycemia. To prevent hypoglycemia, food containing complex carbohydrates is recommended before sleep. In severe cases of hypoglycemia due to 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), the dose can be given in the morning and if this fails 6-MP can be discontinued for a short period of time. We report a 3-year-old child who developed severe early morning hypoglycemia episodes that resolved after decreasing 6-MP while receiving non-high risk ALL therapy.

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    ABSTRACT: Symptomatic fasting hypoglycemia has been reported as an unusual side effect in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on maintenance therapy. We evaluated the relation of the red cell 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) metabolite 6-methyl-mercaptopurine (6MMP) with hypoglycemia. We retrospectively reviewed charts of three patients with ALL and symptomatic hypoglycemia while fasting who were noted to have high levels of 6MMP. All patients had an empiric trial of switching from evening to morning 6-MP administration, and two patients were subsequently switched to twice daily dosing. Patients also received complex carbohydrates at bedtime. Switching 6-MP from evening to morning administration reduced 6MMP levels yet preserved adequate levels of the active metabolite red cell 6-thioguanine nucleotide (6TGN). All patients had decreased hypoglycemic events when changed from evening to morning dosing. Two patients showed a rebound in 6MMP levels with return of hypoglycemic symptoms. Both were then switched to twice daily 6-MP dosing with one having a decrease in 6MMP and hypoglycemic symptoms. High levels of 6MMP are associated with symptomatic hypoglycemia which may be mitigated by switching to morning or twice daily 6-MP dose administration. Pediatr Blood Cancer © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 06/2014; 61(6). DOI:10.1002/pbc.24928 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antileukemic mechanisms of 6-mercaptopurine (6MP) and methotrexate (MTX) maintenance therapy are poorly understood, but the benefits of several years of myelosuppressive maintenance therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia are well proven. Currently, there is no international consensus on drug dosing. Because of significant interindividual and intraindividual variations in drug disposition and pharmacodynamics, vigorous dose adjustments are needed to obtain a target degree of myelosuppression. As the normal white blood cell counts vary by patients' ages and ethnicity, and also within age groups, identical white blood cell levels for 2 patients may not reflect the same treatment intensity. Measurements of intracellular levels of cytotoxic metabolites of 6MP and MTX can identify nonadherent patients, but therapeutic target levels remains to be established. A rise in serum aminotransferase levels during maintenance therapy is common and often related to high levels of methylated 6MP metabolites. However, except for episodes of hypoglycemia, serious liver dysfunction is rare, the risk of permanent liver damage is low, and aminotransferase levels usually normalize within a few weeks after discontinuation of therapy. 6MP and MTX dose increments should lead to either leukopenia or a rise in aminotransferases, and if neither is experienced, poor treatment adherence should be considered. The many genetic polymorphisms that determine 6MP and MTX disposition, efficacy, and toxicity have precluded implementation of pharmacogenomics into treatment, the sole exception being dramatic 6MP dose reductions in patients who are homozygous deficient for thiopurine methyltransferase, the enzyme that methylates 6MP and several of its metabolites. In conclusion, maintenance therapy is as important as the more intensive and toxic earlier treatment phases, and often more challenging. Ongoing research address the applicability of drug metabolite measurements for dose adjustments, extensive host genome profiling to understand diversity in treatment efficacy and toxicity, and alternative thiopurine dosing regimens to improve therapy for the individual patient.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivitives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.
    Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 06/2014; DOI:10.1097/MPH.0000000000000206 · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) maintenance therapy (MT) has been occasionally associated with symptomatic hypoglycemia (SH), attributed to purine analog (mercaptopurine [6-MP]). This hypoglycemia has been hypothesized to affect substrate utilization of gluconeogenic precursor alanine in the liver. Case Report: An overweight 5-year-old boy with ALL was evaluated for SH (lethargy and vomiting) that occurred 8-10 h after fasting while receiving daily 6-MP. Hypoglycemic episodes (>20 episodes per month) occurred predominantly around midmorning but not during the 5-day dexamethasone pulse. The adrenocorticotropic hormone test yielded a normal cortisol response, which ruled out pituitary adrenal suppression. A 12-h overnight fasting glucose was 49 mg/dL, with suppressed insulin response <2 IU/mL, low C-peptide of 0.5 ng/mL, high insulin-like growth factor-binding protein >160 ng/mL, high free fatty acid of 2.64 mmol/L, and negative glucagon stimulation test (change in blood glucose [BG] <5 mg/dL). These results ruled out hyperinsulinism. The patient was placed on cornstarch therapy 5 h prior to dosing with 6-MP. This treatment reduced the SH events to fewer than two episodes per month. To study the efficacy of cornstarch, the patient was fitted with the iPro™ professional continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) (Medtronic MiniMed, Northridge, CA) with a preset low alarm at 70 mg/dL, which was worn for a period of 5 days while the patient was on cornstarch. With 1,000 sensor reading the BG range was 65-158 mg/dL, and the percentage mean absolute difference between sensor and finger-stick BG readings (the parent monitored his BG four times a day) was 9.4%. There were no hypoglycemic episodes detected by the CGMS while the patient was on cornstarch. After the cessation of chemotherapy, a 15-h fasting study was performed, and the CGMS was placed. Results showed resolution of hypoglycemia. Conclusions: The CGMS helped us devise an effective management plan for our patient. CGMS proved useful as an adjunct to characterize the pattern of hypoglycemia and to validate the benefit of cornstarch in hypoglycemia associated with 6-MP treatment of ALL.
    Diabetes Technology &amp Therapeutics 11/2012; DOI:10.1089/dia.2012.0181 · 2.29 Impact Factor