Enasidenib and ivosidenib in AML

Maria Paola Martelli, Giovanni Martino, Valeria Cardinali, Brunangelo Falini, Giovanni Martinelli, Claudio Cerchione

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The isocitrate dehydrogenases enzymes, IDH1 and IDH2, catalyze the conversion of isocitrate to α-ketoglutarate (αKG) in the cell cytoplasm and mitochondria, respectively, and contribute to generating the dihydronicotinamideadenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) as reductive potential in different cellular processes. Mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 genes are found collectively in about 20-25% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Mutant IDH enzymes have neomorphic activity and convert αKG to the oncometabolite R-2-hydroxyglutarate (R-2-HG) which accumulates at high levels in the cell and hampers the function of αKG-dependent enzymes, including epigenetic regulators, thus leading to altered gene expression and block of differentiation and contributing to leukemia development. Inhibition of the neomorphic mutants induces marked decrease in R-2-HG levels and restores myeloid differentiation. Enasidenib and ivosidenib are potent and selective inhibitors of mutant idH2 and idH1, respectively, act as differentiating agents and showed clinical activity in relapsed/refractory (R/R) AML harboring the specific mutation. As single agents, both drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of R/R AML. The relevance of IDH targeting within either single agent approach or, most importantly, combinatorial treatments in AML will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-426
Number of pages16
JournalMinerva Medica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Acute; Enasidenib; Isocitrate dehydrogenase; Ivosidenib
  • Leukemia
  • Myeloid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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