Cytarabine and etoposide are drugs commonly used to treat pediatric leukemia. Plerixafor is a drug used to promote the movement of stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood stream before a stem cell transplant. By mobilizing leukemia stem cells from the bone marrow, researchers believe that plerixafor may be useful as a “chemosensitizing” agent that may make treatment with cytarabine and etoposide more effective.
The goal of this study is to find the highest dose of plerixafor that can be given safely with cytarabine and etoposide in children with acute leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) that has returned or persists despite prior therapy. This study is being conducted by POETIC (Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigator Consortium) and the AFLAC Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service.