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Use of Ribavirin and Low Dose Ara-C to Treat Acute Myeloid Leukemia

This study has been completed.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Sarit Assouline, Jewish General Hospital Identifier:
First received: January 25, 2010
Last updated: December 2, 2016
Last verified: December 2016
The purpose of the study is to determine the maximum tolerated dose of ribavirin, when given in combination with low-dose ara-C and to determine if it is safe and well-tolerated in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

Condition Intervention Phase
Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Drug: Ribavirin
Drug: Cytarabine arabinoside
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase I/II Study of Ribavirin and Low-dose Cytarabine Arabinoside (Ara-C) in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) M4 and M5 Subtypes, and AML With High eIF4E Expression

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Sarit Assouline, Jewish General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Recommended Phase II Dose (RP2D) of Ribavirin When Given in Combination With Low-dose Ara-C [ Time Frame: 56 days ]
    This 3+3 designed aimed to determine recommended phase II dose (RP2D) based on pharmacokinetics (PK) and maximum tolerated dose (MTD). For the dose to be selected, a target steady state level of ribavirin 20 uM was needed for all patients and no more than 1 of 6 patients could have had dose limiting toxicity at that dose.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Overall Response Rate [ Time Frame: 2-3 years ]
    Overall response rate comprises complete response (<5% blasts in the bone marrow, and in the peripheral blood Hgb more than or equal to 100 g/L, platelets more than or equal to 100x10-9/L, and neutrophils more than or equal to 1x10-9/L), partial response (5 to 25% blasts in the bone marrow and same peripheral blood parameters) and blast response (a greater than 50% decrease in bone marrow blast count and 2 log reduction in peripheral blood blast count, sustained for at least 28 days).

  • Complete Response Rate [ Time Frame: 2-3 years ]
    Defined as <5% blasts in the bone marrow and a hgb 100 g/L, platelets 100,000/uL, neutrophils 1000/uL.

  • Partial Response [ Time Frame: 2-3 years ]
    Partial response was defined as 5 to 25% blasts in the bone marrow and Hgb >100g/L, platelets >100,000/ul and neutrophils >1000/ul.

  • Blast Response [ Time Frame: 2-3 years ]
    Blast response was defined as a greater than 50% decrease in bone marrow blast count and 2 log reduction in peripheral blood blast count, sustained for at least 28 days.

Enrollment: 29
Study Start Date: January 2010
Study Completion Date: January 2015
Primary Completion Date: January 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Ribavirin-Cytarabine arabinoside
Ribavirin will be given orally bid according to a dose escalation scheme daily for 28 days of a 28 day cycle Cytarabine arabinoside will be given 20 mg sc bid days 1 to 10 of a 28 day cycle
Drug: Ribavirin
Dose level 1 = 1000 mg po BID/ Dose level 2 = 1400 mg po BID/ Dose level 3 = 1800 mg po BID
Drug: Cytarabine arabinoside
Previous cohorts at 20 mg bid days 1 to 10 of every 28 day cycle. Dosage modified to 10 mg bid days 1 to 10 of every 28 day cycle for more recent cohorts.
Other Name: Ara-C

Detailed Description:

Primary Objectives

In the Phase I portion of this study, we will determine the maximum tolerated dose and recommended phase II dose (RP2D) of ribavirin and low-dose ara-C. The primary objective of the Phase II portion of the study is to determine the overall response rate, including the complete remission (CR), complete remission with incomplete blood count recovery (CRi), partial remission (PR) or blast response (BR), to therapy with ribavirin and low dose ara-C at the RP2D.


This is a multicentre, open-label, single arm Phase I/II study of oral ribavirin and low-dose ara-C for patients with AML M4/M5 or AML with high expression of eIF4E, who have relapsed or refractory disease, or who are not suitable candidates for induction chemotherapy. This study will determine the recommended phase II dose and will evaluate efficacy. Correlative studies will be included to assess relevant molecular targets.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • The following patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are eligible:

    • De novo AML M4 or M5 FAB subtype or high eIF4E.
    • Secondary AML after a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or a myeloproliferative disorder (not chronic myelogenous leukemia), if M4 or M5 FAB subtype or high eIF4E.
    • Therapy-related AML if M4 or M5 FAB subtype or high eIF4E.
    • CML blast crisis if they have failed imatinib and at least one other tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
  • All patients must have failed primary therapy (defined as two induction chemotherapies), have relapsed, or are not suitable candidates for intensive induction chemotherapy.
  • Patients who have a dry aspirate or extramedullary disease only are eligible for this study if they have a pre-treatment marrow or tissue biopsy demonstrating AML M4 or M5 subtype or high eIF4E expression.
  • ECOG performance status 0, 1, 2 or 3.
  • Life expectancy > 4 weeks.
  • Age is > 18 years.
  • Female patients of childbearing potential must have a negative serum (beta-HCG) pregnancy test within 14 days of starting protocol and must not be breastfeeding. Men and women of childbearing potential must agree to use an effective means of contraception throughout the study and for at least 30 days after completion of protocol.
  • Adequate renal and hepatic function: serum creatinine < 1.5 x ULN; AST or ALT < 2.5 x ULN (or < 5 x ULN if liver involvement with leukemia); serum bilirubin < 1.5 x ULN.
  • Provide written consent after the investigational nature, study design, risks and benefits of the study have been explained.
  • Accessible for treatment and follow up.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Uncontrolled central nervous system involvement by AML.
  • Active cardiovascular disease as defined by New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III-IV categorization.
  • Intercurrent illness or medical condition precluding safe administration of the planned protocol treatment or required follow-up.
  • Received any previous therapy for AML within 28 days prior to the study entry. Hydrea is permitted for the treatment of leukocytosis but must be stopped within 7 days of starting low dose ara-C and ribavirin.
  • Female patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Concurrent treatment with other anti-cancer therapy.
  • Known infection with HIV.
  • History of other malignancy. Subjects who have been disease-free for 2 year or subjects with a history of completely resected non-melanoma skin cancer or successfully treated in situ carcinoma are eligible.
  • FAB AML M1, 2, 6, 7 will be excluded if they do not have high eIF4E expression. AML M3 is always excluded.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01056523

Canada, Quebec
Jewish General Hospital
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3T 1E2
Sponsors and Collaborators
Jewish General Hospital
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Principal Investigator: Sarit Assouline, MD Jewish General Hospital, McGill University
Study Director: Katherine Borden, PhD Université de Montréal
  More Information

Responsible Party: Sarit Assouline, Principal Investigator, Jewish General Hospital Identifier: NCT01056523     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Ribavirin-002
Study First Received: January 25, 2010
Results First Received: October 19, 2015
Last Updated: December 2, 2016

Keywords provided by Sarit Assouline, Jewish General Hospital:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Leukemia, Myeloid
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antineoplastic Agents
Antiviral Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on May 25, 2017