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What is asparaginase?

Asparaginase is a chemotherapy drug used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). It can also be used to treat some other blood disorders. It also has the names Erwinase, Crisantaspase or L-asparaginase.

Is asparaginase safe to use during pregnancy?

Use in pregnancy may harm the baby. As a food it is generally recognized as safe. Asparaginase works by breaking down the amino acid known as asparagine without which the cancer cells cannot make protein.

Is asparaginase still available in UK?

Medical. (Crasnitin has been discontinued.) Spectrila is a new recombinant E. coli asparaginase. Asparaginase produced by Dickeya dadantii (formerly called Erwinia chrysanthemi) instead is known as crisantaspase ( BAN ), and is available in the United Kingdom under the trade name Erwinase.

Why is asparaginase toxic to adults?

Administering asparaginase has always been problematic in adults because most general oncologists who treat adults are not familiar with its usage and toxicity. The toxicity profile of the drug is unique and is not observed with any other chemotherapy agent.

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