Leuvocorin is used to manage the adverse effects of methotrexate (HDMTX) in cancer treatment.
High-dose methotrexate (HDMTX), defined as a dose higher than 500 mg/m2, is used to treat a range of adult and childhood cancers. Although HDMTX is safely administered to most patients, it can cause significant toxicity, including acute kidney injury (AKI) in 2%-12% of patients. Nephrotoxicity results from crystallization of methotrexate in the renal tubular lumen, leading to tubular toxicity. AKI and other toxicities of high-dose methotrexate can lead to significant morbidity, treatment delays, and diminished renal function. Risk factors for methotrexate-associated toxicity include a history of renal dysfunction, volume depletion, acidic urine, and drug interactions. Renal toxicity leads to impaired methotrexate clearance and prolonged exposure to toxic concentrations, which further worsen renal function and exacerbate nonrenal adverse events, including myelosuppression, mucositis, dermatologic toxicity, and hepatotoxicity. Serum creatinine, urine output, and serum methotrexate concentration are monitored to assess renal clearance, with concurrent hydration, urinary alkalinization, and leucovorin rescue to prevent and mitigate AKI and subsequent toxicity. When delayed methotrexate excretion or AKI occurs despite preventive strategies, increased hydration, high-dose leucovorin, and glucarpidase are usually sufficient to allow renal recovery without the need for dialysis.