The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Diagnosis and Treatment |

2-Chlorodeoxyadenosine: A Newer Purine Analog Active in the Treatment of Indolent Lymphoid Malignancies

Alan Saven, MD; and Lawrence D. Piro, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From the Ida M. and Cecil H. Green Cancer Center, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California. Requests for Reprints: Alan Saven, MD, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, 10666 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1994;120(9):784-791. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-120-9-199405010-00010
Text Size: A A A

Objective: To review the structure, mechanism of action, pharmacologic features, and clinical trial results of the newer purine analog, 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2-CdA).

Data Sources and Study Selection: English-language medical literature review of more than 70 articles.

Data Synthesis: 2-Chlorodeoxyadenosine is unique compared with traditional antimetabolite drugs in that it is equally active against dividing and resting lymphocytes, which may be especially important in indolent lymphoid malignancies, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, because most cells in these disorders are in the resting phase. In patients with alkylator-refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia who were treated with 2-CdA, 44% achieved a response (4% complete responses, 40% partial responses), and 54%, scored as nonresponders, had a sustained reduction in their peripheral lymphocytosis. Patients with untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia had an 85% response rate (25% complete responses, 60% partial responses). Patients with previously treated low-grade lymphoma achieved an overall response rate of 43%. The most striking clinical effects of this drug have been seen in hairy cell leukemia, in which a single course of therapy induces complete remissions in 85% of partial remissions in 12%. Activity has also been shown in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and the myeloid leukemias.

Conclusions: 2-Chlorodeoxyadenosine is a newer purine analog with potent activity in the treatment of indolent lymphoproliferative diseases and illustrates the model for rational drug development.


Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3.
2-Chlorodeoxyadenosine mechanism of action.2-CdAADADCK5′-NT2-CdAMP2-CdADP2-CdATPRNRNADATP++/Mg++

2-Chlorodeoxyadenosine ( ) enters the cell through an efficient transport system where it resists (‡) deamination by adenosine deaminase ( ). The high ratio of deoxycytidine kinase ( ) to 5′-nucleotidase ( ) favors the formation of 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine monophosphate ( ), -diphosphate ( ), and -triphosphate ( ). In dividing cells, excess 2-CdATP inhibits ribonucleotide reductase ( ) with resultant inhibition of DNA synthesis. In resting cells, DNA strand breaks occur, activating a poly(adenosine-diphosphate-ribose) polymerase, which results in the in-tracellular depletion of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide ( ) and adenosine triphosphate ( ). A Ca -dependent endonuclease then cleaves DNA into fragments, apoptosis.

Grahic Jump Location
Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2.
Deoxyadenosine metabolism.d. adenosineDCKNTd. AMPd. ADPd. ATPADAd. adenosined. inosinePNPXO

Deoxyadenosine ( ) enters the cell through an efficient transport system. The favorable ratio of deoxycytidine kinase ( ) to 5′-nucleotidase (5′- ) results in the formation of deoxyadenosine monophosphate ( ), -diphosphate ( ), and -triphosphate ( ). Adenosine deaminase ( ) irreversibly deaminates deoxyadenosine ( ) to deoxyinosine ( ). Purine nucleoside phosphorylase ( ) catalyzes the reversible phosphorolysis of deoxyinosine to hypoxanthine, which is oxidized by xanthine oxidase ( ) to uric acid to be excreted.

Grahic Jump Location
Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1.
Molecular structures of deoxyadenosine and 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine.
Grahic Jump Location




Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $32.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Journal Club
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.