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Oral ezatiostat HCl (Telintra®, TLK199) and Idiopathic Chronic Neutropenia (ICN): a case report of complete response of a patient with G-CSF resistant ICN following treatment with ezatiostat, a glutathione S-transferase P1-1 (GSTP1-1) inhibitor

Roger M Lyons1, Sharon T Wilks1, Shelby Young2 and Gail L Brown2*

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Care Centers of South Texas, US Oncology, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

2 Telik Inc., Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA

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Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2011, 4:43  doi:10.1186/1756-8722-4-43

Published: 2 November 2011


Idiopathic chronic neutropenia (ICN) describes a heterogeneous group of hematologic diseases characterized by low circulating neutrophil levels often associated with recurrent fevers, chronic mucosal inflammation, and severe systemic infections. The severity and risk of complications, including serious infections, are inversely proportional to the absolute neutrophil count (ANC), with the greatest problems occurring in patients with an ANC of less than 0.5 × 109/L. This case report describes a 64-year-old female with longstanding rheumatoid arthritis who subsequently developed ICN with frequent episodes of sepsis requiring hospitalization and prolonged courses of antibiotics over a 4-year period. She was treated with granulocyte colony stimulating factors (G-CSF) but had a delayed, highly variable, and volatile response. She was enrolled in a clinical trial evaluating the oral investigational agent ezatiostat. Ezatiostat, a glutathione S-transferase P1-1 inhibitor, activates Jun kinase, promoting the growth and maturation of hematopoietic progenitor stem cells. She responded by the end of the first month of treatment with stabilization of her ANC (despite tapering and then stopping G-CSF), clearing of fever, and healing of areas of infection. This ANC response to ezatiostat treatment has now been sustained for over 8 months and continues. These results suggest potential roles for ezatiostat in the treatment of patients with ICN who are not responsive to G-CSF, as an oral therapy alternative, or as an adjunct to G-CSF, and further studies are warranted.

idiopathic chronic neutropenia; ezatiostat