Pegylated arginine deiminase: A novel anticancer enzyme agent

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89 Scopus citations


Pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20) is a novel anticancer enzyme that produces depletion of arginine, which is a nonessential amino acid in humans. Certain tumours, such as malignant melanoma and hepatocellular carcinoma, are auxotrophic for arginine. These tumours that are sensitive to arginine depletion do not express argininosuccinate synthetase, a key enzyme in the synthesis of arginine from citrulline. ADI-PEG20 inhibits human melanomas and hepatocellular carcinomas in vitro and in vivo. Phase I - II trials in patients with melanoma and hepatocellular carcinomas have shown the drug to have antitumour activity and tolerable side effects. Large Phase II trials and randomised, controlled Phase III trials are needed to determine its overall efficacy in the treatment of these malignancies and others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalExpert opinion on investigational drugs
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Anticancer enzyme
  • Arginine
  • Argininosuccinate synthetase expression
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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