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1.  A phase I study of the safety and pharmacokinetics of trabectedin in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in patients with advanced malignancies 
Annals of Oncology  2008;19(10):1802-1809.
Background: To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, potential pharmacokinetic (PK) interactions, and effect on liver histology of trabectedin in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) for advanced malignancies.
Patients and methods: Entry criteria for the 36 patients included normal liver function, prior doxorubicin exposure <250 mg/m2, and normal cardiac function. A 1-h PLD (30 mg/m2) infusion was followed immediately by one of six trabectedin doses (0.4, 0.6, 0.75, 0.9, 1.1, and 1.3 mg/m2) infused over 3 h, repeated every 21 days until evidence of complete response (CR), disease progression, or unacceptable toxicity. Plasma samples were obtained to assess PK profiles.
Results: The MTD of trabectedin was 1.1 mg/m2. Drug-related grade 3 and 4 toxic effects were neutropenia (31%) and elevated transaminases (31%). Six patients responded (one CR, five partial responses), with an overall response rate of 16.7%, and 14 had stable disease (less than a 50% reduction and less than a 25% increase in the sum of the products of two perpendicular diameters of all measured lesions and the appearance of no new lesions) >4 months (39%). Neither drug had its PK affected significantly by concomitant administration compared with trabectedin and PLD each given as a single agent.
Conclusion: Trabectedin combined with PLD is generally well tolerated at therapeutic doses of both drugs in pretreated patients with diverse tumor types and appears to provide clinical benefit. These results support the need for additional studies of this combination in appropriate cancer types.
PMCID: PMC2598415  PMID: 18497430
ET-743; ovarian cancer; pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD); sarcomas; trabectedin
2.  New developments in treatment of ovarian carcinoma: focus on trabectedin 
Trabectedin is a new marine-derived compound that binds the DNA minor groove and interacts with proteins of the DNA repair machinery. Trabectedin has shown promising single-agent activity in pretreated patients with soft tissue sarcoma, and ovarian and breast cancer, and combination with various other chemotherapeutic drugs seems feasible. Toxicities are mainly hematologic and hepatic, with Grade 3–4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia observed in approximately 50% and 20% of patients, respectively, and Grade 3–4 elevation of liver enzymes observed in 35%–50% of patients treated with trabectedin. The recently reported results of a large Phase III trial comparing pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) alone with a combination of PLD and trabectedin in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer showed improved progression-free survival with the combination of trabectedin and PLD, albeit at the price of increased toxicity. Current research focuses on the identification of predictive factors for patients treated with trabectedin, as well as the development of other combinations.
PMCID: PMC3004573  PMID: 21188115
chemotherapy; ovarian cancer; combination; drug development; DNA repair
3.  A Phase I Trial and Pharmacokinetic Study of a 24-hour Infusion of Trabectedin (Yondelis®, ET-743) in Children and Adolescents with Relapsed or Refractory Solid Tumors 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2012;59(5):865-869.
The objectives of this phase I study were to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), toxicity profile and pharmacokinetics of a 24-hour continuous intravenous infusion of trabectedin administered to children and adolescents with refractory or relapsed solid tumors.
Patients between the ages of 4 and 16 years old with refractory solid tumors received trabectedin as a 24-hour infusion every 21 days. Dexamethasone and prophylactic growth factor support were administered with each cycle. Pharmacokinetic studies were conducted during cycle 1.
Patients (n=12) median (range) age 14.5 (8–16) years received trabectedin at 1.1 (n=3), 1.5 (n=6) or 1.7 (n=3) mg/m2. At the 1.5 mg/m2 dose level, one patient had dose limiting anorexia and fatigue. At 1.7 mg/m2, 2 patients experienced dose limiting toxicity, dehydration and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) elevation. Non-dose limiting toxicities included elevated serum transaminases, myelosuppression, nausea, emesis and fatigue. Plasma pharmacokinetic parameters were similar to historical data in adults. One partial response (PR) was observed in a patient with neuroendocrine carcinoma. Stable disease (SD) (≥6 cycles) was achieved in 3 patients (osteosarcoma n=2, desmoplastic small round cell tumor n=1).
The MTD of trabectedin in pediatric patients with refractory solid tumors is 1.5 mg/m2 IV over 24 hours every 21 days. Dexamethasone to ameliorate hepatic toxicity and prophylactic growth factor support are required.
PMCID: PMC3442122  PMID: 22847981
trabectedin; phase I clinical trial; pediatrics; pharmacokinetics
4.  Phase I trial of weekly trabectedin (ET-743) and gemcitabine in patients with advanced solid tumors 
To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of trabectedin plus gemcitabine administered on a weekly schedule in patients with advanced solid tumors.
Patients with ECOG performance status 0–1 and adequate organ function were enrolled. On days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle, patients received gemcitabine (starting dose, 800 mg/m2) followed by trabectedin (starting dose, 0.3 mg/m2). Strict liver function test treatment criteria were employed to avoid hepatic toxicity seen in previous trabectedin studies. Plasma samples were collected during cycles 1 and 2 for pharmacokinetic analyses.
Fifteen patients received ≥1 dose, with a median of two treatment cycles (range 1–10). The most common drug-related toxicity was hepatic. Dose reductions were required for trabectedin in four (27%) patients and gemcitabine in six (40%) patients. Cycle delays/dose holds were required in 11 (73%) patients and doses above trabectedin 0.4 mg/m2 and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2, which is the recommended phase II dose, were not feasible. Seven patients maintained stable disease after two cycles. Gemcitabine and trabectedin pharmacokinetics were not altered substantially with concomitant administration.
Given the lack of pharmacokinetic interaction and potential efficacy of trabectedin and gemcitabine combination therapy, further study is warranted with alternate schedules.
PMCID: PMC3556988  PMID: 18379785
Dose-finding; Phase I; Gemcitabine; Pharmacokinetics; Trabectedin
5.  A dose escalation and pharmacokinetic study of biweekly pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, paclitaxel and gemcitabine in patients with advanced solid tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;97(1):43-49.
To determine the maximum tolerated doses (MTDs) and dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD), paclitaxel (PCX) and gemcitabine (GEM) combination administered biweekly in patients with advanced solid tumours. Twenty-two patients with advanced-stage solid tumours were treated with escalated doses of PLD on day 1 and PCX plus GEM on day 2 (starting doses: 10, 100 and 800 mg m−2, respectively) every 2 weeks. DLTs and pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters of all drugs were determined during the first cycle of treatment. All but six (73%) patients had previously received at least one chemotherapy regimen. The DLT dose level was reached at PLD 12 mg m−2, PCX 110 mg m−2 and GEM 1000 mg m−2 with neutropaenia being the dose-limiting event. Of the 86 chemotherapy cycles delivered, grade 3 and 4 neutropaenia occurred in 20% with no cases of febrile neutropaenia. Non-haematological toxicities were mild. The recommended MTDs are PLD 12 mg m−2, PCX 100 mg m−2 and GEM 1000 mg m−2 administered every 2 weeks. The PK data revealed no obvious drug interactions. Biweekly administration of PLD, PCX and GEM is a well-tolerated chemotherapy regimen, which merits further evaluation in various types of solid tumours.
PMCID: PMC2359662  PMID: 17551496
doxorubicin; gemcitabine; paclitaxel; pharmacokinetics
6.  A Phase I Combination Study of Trabectedin and Doxorubicin in Patients With Soft Tissue Sarcoma 
To determine the dose of trabectedin plus doxorubicin with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) support associated with manageable neutropenia and acceptable dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) in patients with recurrent or persistent soft tissue sarcoma (STS).
In this phase I, open-label, multicenter trial, patients previously treated with 0–1 prior chemotherapy regimens excluding doxorubicin, an ECOG performance status 0–1, and adequate organ function received a 10–15-minute intravenous (IV) infusion of doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 immediately followed by a 3-hour IV infusion of trabectedin 0.9–1.3 mg/m2 on day 1 of a 3-week cycle. Because four of the first six patients experienced DLT-defining neutropenia during cycle 1, all subsequent patients received primary prophylactic G-CSF. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was the highest dose level with ≥6 patients in which less than one third of the patients experienced severe neutropenia or DLT. Blood was collected during cycle 1 for pharmacokinetic analyses. Adverse events (AEs), tumor response, and survival were assessed.
Patients (N = 41) received a median of six cycles of treatment (range, 2–13). The MTD was trabectedin 1.1 mg/m2 and doxorubicin 60 mg/m2. Common grade 3/4 treatment-emergent AEs were neutropenia (71%), ALT increase (46%), and thrombocytopenia (37%). Overall, five (12%) patients achieved a partial response, and 34 (83%) maintained stable disease. Median progression-free survival was 9.2 months. Doxorubicin and trabectedin pharmacokinetics were not altered substantially with concomitant administration.
The combination of doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 followed by trabectedin 1.1 mg/m2 every 21 days is safe and active in patients with STS.
PMCID: PMC2777645  PMID: 18927308
trabectedin; ET-743; doxorubicin; sarcoma; pharmacokinetics; YONDELIS
7.  Trabectedin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in relapsed ovarian cancer delays third-line chemotherapy and prolongs the platinum-free interval 
Annals of Oncology  2010;22(1):49-58.
Background: OVA-301 is a large randomized trial that showed superiority of trabectedin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD; CentoCor Ortho Biotech Products L.P., Raritan, NJ, USA). over single-agent PLD in 672 patients with relapsed ovarian cancer, particularly in the partially platinum-sensitive subgroup [platinum-free interval (PFI) of 6–12 months]. This superiority has been suggested to be due to the differential impact of subsequent (platinum) therapy.
Patients and methods: A detailed analysis of subsequent therapies and survival outcomes in the overall population and in the subsets according to platinum sensitivity was therefore conducted.
Results: Similar proportions of patients received subsequent therapy in each arm (76% versus 77%), including further platinum-based regimens (49% versus 55%). Patients in the trabectedin/PLD arm received subsequent chemotherapy at a later time (median delay 2.5 months versus PLD arm). Overall survival from subsequent platinum was significantly prolonged in the partially platinum-sensitive disease subset (hazard ratio = 0.63; P = 0.0357).
Conclusion: The superiority of trabectedin/PLD over single-agent PLD in OVA-301 cannot be explained by differences in the extent or nature of subsequent therapies administered to these patients. On the other hand, these exploratory analyses support the hypothesis that the enhanced survival benefits in the partially platinum-sensitive subset might be due to an extended PFI leading to longer survival with subsequent platinum.
PMCID: PMC3003617  PMID: 20643863
pegylated liposomal doxorubicin; platinum-free interval; relapsed ovarian cancer; trabectedin
8.  Trabectedin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in relapsed ovarian cancer: outcomes in the partially platinum-sensitive (platinum-free interval 6–12 months) subpopulation of OVA-301 phase III randomized trial 
Annals of Oncology  2010;22(1):39-48.
Background: OVA-301 is a large randomized trial that showed superiority of trabectedin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) over PLD alone in relapsed ovarian cancer. The optimal management of patients with partially platinum-sensitive relapse [6–12 months platinum-free interval (PFI)] is unclear.
Patients and methods: Within OVA-301, we therefore now report on the outcomes for the 214 cases in this subgroup.
Results: Trabectedin/PLD resulted in a 35% risk reduction of disease progression (DP) or death [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.65, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.45–0.92; P = 0.0152; median progression-free survival (PFS) 7.4 versus 5.5 months], and a significant 41% decrease in the risk of death (HR = 0.59; 95% CI, 0.43–0.82; P = 0.0015; median survival 23.0 versus 17.1 months). The safety of trabectedin/PLD in this subset mimicked that of the overall population. Similar proportions of patients received subsequent therapy in each arm (76% versus 77%), although patients in the trabectedin/PLD arm had a slightly lower proportion of further platinum (49% versus 55%). Importantly, patients in the trabectedin/PLD arm survived significantly longer after subsequent platinum (HR = 0.63; P = 0.0357; median 13.3 versus 9.8 months).
Conclusion: This hypothesis-generating analysis demonstrates that superior benefits with trabectedin/PLD in terms of PFS and survival in the overall population appear particularly enhanced in patients with partially sensitive disease (PFI 6–12 months).
PMCID: PMC3003616  PMID: 20643862
pegylated liposomal doxorubicin; platinum-free interval; relapsed ovarian cancer; trabectedin
9.  Phase 2 study of canfosfamide in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in platinum and paclitaxel refractory or resistant epithelial ovarian cancer 
Canfosfamide is a novel glutathione analog activated by glutathione S-transferase P1-1. This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of canfosfamide in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in patients with platinum resistant ovarian cancer. Patients with platinum resistant ovarian carcinoma and measurable disease received canfosfamide at 960 mg/m2 in combination with PLD at 50 mg/m2, intravenously day 1 in every 28 day cycles until tumor progression or unacceptable toxicities. The primary endpoints were objective response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS).
Canfosfamide plus PLD combination therapy was administered at 960/50 mg/m2, respectively. Thirty-nine patients received a median number of 4 cycles (range 1.0-18.0). The ORR was 27.8% (95% CI, 14.2-45.2) with a disease stabilization rate of 80.6% (95% CI, 64.0-91.8) in the evaluable population. The CA-125 marker responses correlated with the radiological findings of complete response or partial response. The median PFS was 6.0 months (95% CI, 4.2-7.9) and median survival was 17.8 months. The combination was well tolerated. Myelosuppression was managed with dose reductions and growth factor support. Grade 3 febrile neutropenia was observed in 2 patients (5.1%). Non-hematologic adverse events occurred at the expected frequency and grade for each drug alone, with no unexpected or cumulative toxicities.
Canfosfamide in combination with PLD is well tolerated and active in platinum and paclitaxel refractory or resistant ovarian cancer. A randomized phase 3 study was conducted based on this supportive phase 2 study.
Trial Registration
This study was registered at NCT00052065.
PMCID: PMC2851575  PMID: 20222977
10.  Trabectedin: the evidence for its place in therapy in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma 
Core evidence  2010;4:191-198.
Soft tissue sarcoma accounts for less than 1% of all malignant neoplasms and is comprised of a very heterogeneous group of tumors with over 50 different subtypes. Due to its diversity and rarity, developing new therapeutics has been difficult, at best. The standard of care in the treatment of advanced and metastatic disease over the last 30 years has been doxorubicin and ifosfamide, either alone or in combination. There has been significant focus on developing new therapeutics to treat primary and metastatic disease. Trabectedin (ecteinascidin-743) is a tetrahydroiso-quinoline alkaloid which has been evaluated in the treatment of metastatic soft tissue sarcoma.
To review the current evidence for the therapeutic use of trabectedin in patients with soft tissue sarcoma.
Evidence review:
Five phase I studies in patients with solid tumors, all of which include sarcoma patients, evaluating the dosing and toxicity of trabectedin were performed with efficacy being evaluated as a secondary endpoint. Additionally, there are four phase I trials evaluating trabectedin in combination with frontline therapeutic drugs in soft tissue sarcoma. Four phase II studies were performed in soft-tissue sarcoma patients with objective response rates ranging from 3.7% to 17.1%. Additionally, in two compassionate use trials, objective response rates between 14% and 51% were seen, the largest response resulting from a study specifically focusing on liposarcoma.
Place in therapy:
Trabectedin is a potential therapeutic option for the management of soft-tissue sarcoma. It appears to have specific activity in a select group of histologies, most notably myxoid/round cell liposarcoma. Although it would be helpful to study the use of trabectedin in a randomized, controlled fashion, the relative rarity of soft-tissue sarcoma, and heterogeneity of the histologic subtypes, makes phase III trials a difficult prospect.
PMCID: PMC2899778  PMID: 20694075
soft tissue sarcoma; metastatic; trabectedin; ET-743; Yondelis®
11.  Phase I study of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin and the multidrug-resistance modulator, valspodar 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;93(1):46-53.
Valspodar, a P-glycoprotein modulator, affects pharmacokinetics of doxorubicin when administered in combination, resulting in doxorubicin dose reduction. In animal models, valspodar has minimal interaction with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PEG-LD). To determine any pharmacokinetic interaction in humans, we designed a study to determine maximum tolerated dose, dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), and pharmacokinetics of total doxorubicin, in PEG-LD and valspodar combination therapy in patients with advanced malignancies. Patients received PEG-LD 20–25 mg m−2 intravenously over 1 h for cycle one. In subsequent 2-week cycles, valspodar was administered as 72 h continuous intravenous infusion with PEG-LD beginning at 8 mg m−2 and escalated in an accelerated titration design to 25 mg m−2. Pharmacokinetic data were collected with and without valspodar. A total of 14 patients completed at least two cycles of therapy. No DLTs were observed in six patients treated at the highest level of PEG-LD 25 mg m−2. The most common toxicities were fatigue, nausea, vomiting, mucositis, palmar plantar erythrodysesthesia, diarrhoea, and ataxia. Partial responses were observed in patients with breast and ovarian carcinoma. The mean (range) total doxorubicin clearance decreased from 27 (10–73) ml h−1 m−2 in cycle 1 to 18 (3–37) ml h−1 m−2 with the addition of valspodar in cycle 2 (P=0.009). Treatment with PEG-LD 25 mg m−2 in combination with valspodar results in a moderate prolongation of total doxorubicin clearance and half-life but did not increase the toxicity of this agent.
PMCID: PMC2361488  PMID: 15942626
doxil; multidrug resistance; pegylated liposomal doxorubicin; PSC 833; valspodar
12.  A phase II study of Yondelis® (trabectedin, ET-743) as a 24-h continuous intravenous infusion in pretreated advanced breast cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;94(11):1610-1614.
Yondelis® (trabectedin, ET-743) is a novel marine-derived anticancer compound found in the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata. It is currently under phase II/III development in breast cancer, hormone refractory prostate cancer, sarcomas and ovarian cancer. Activity in breast cancer experimental models has been reported, and preliminary evidence of activity in this setting during the phase I programme has also been observed. The present study assessed the activity and feasibility of trabectedin in women with advanced breast cancer previously treated with conventional therapies. Patients with advanced disease previously treated with at least one but not more than two regimens that included taxanes or anthracyclines as palliative therapy were eligible. Trabectedin 1.5 mg m−2 was administered as a 24-h continuous infusion every 3 weeks. Patients were kept on therapy until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity or patient refusal. Twenty-seven patients were included between April 1999 and September 2000. Their median age was 54 years (range: 36–67) and 63% of them had two metastatic sites. Twenty-two patients were performance status 1. All patients had previously received anthracyclines, and 23 out of 27 patients had received taxanes. Of 21 patients with measurable disease, three confirmed partial responses, one unconfirmed partial response and two minor responses (49 and 32% tumour shrinkage) were observed; six patients had stable disease. Median survival was 10 months (95% confidence interval: 4.88–15.18). Transient and noncumulative transaminitis was observed in most of the patients. The pharmacokinetic profile of trabectedin in this patient's population is in line with the overall data available with this schedule. The policy of dose adjustments based on the intercycle peaks of bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase appears to have a positive impact in the therapeutic index of trabectedin. Trabectedin can induce response and tumour control in previously treated advanced breast cancer, with manageable toxicity, thus warranting further development as a single agent or in combination regimens.
PMCID: PMC2361304  PMID: 16736024
Yondelis; trabectedin; breast cancer
13.  Multiscale Kinetic Modeling of Liposomal Doxorubicin Delivery Quantifies the Role of Tumor and Drug-Specific Parameters in Local Delivery to Tumors 
Nanoparticle encapsulation has been used as a means to manipulate the pharmacokinetic (PK) and safety profile of drugs in oncology. Using pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) vs. conventional doxorubicin as a model system, we developed and experimentally validated a multiscale computational model of liposomal drug delivery. We demonstrated that, for varying tumor transport properties, there is a regimen where liposomal and conventional doxorubicin deliver identical amounts of doxorubicin to tumor cell nuclei. In mice, typical tumor properties consistently favor improved delivery via liposomes relative to free drug. However, in humans, we predict that some tumors will have properties wherein liposomal delivery delivers the identical amount of drug to its target relative to dosing with free drug. The ability to identify tumor types and/or individual patient tumors with high degree of liposome deposition may be critical for optimizing the success of nanoparticle and liposomal anticancer therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC3600732  PMID: 23835797
14.  Phase I trial of ixabepilone plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in patients with adenocarcinoma of breast or ovary†‡ 
Annals of Oncology  2010;21(10):2075-2080.
Background: Ixabepilone is a semisynthetic epothilone B analogue that is active in taxane-resistant cell lines and has shown activity in patients with refractory breast and ovarian cancer. We carried out a phase I trial of ixabepilone plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in patients with advanced taxane-pretreated ovarian and breast cancer.
Methods: Patients with recurrent ovarian or breast carcinoma received PLD every 3 or 4 weeks plus five different dose schemas of ixabepilone in cohorts of three to six patients.
Results: Thirty patients received a total of 142 treatment cycles of the PLD–ixabepilone combination. The recommended phase II dose and schedule of ixabepilone was 16 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 plus PLD 30 mg/m2 given on day 1, repeated every 4 weeks. Hand–foot syndrome and mucositis were dose limiting when both ixabepilone and PLD were given every 3 or 4 weeks. Objective responses were observed in 3 of 13 patients (23%) with breast cancer and 5 of 17 patients (29%) with ovarian cancer.
Conclusion: Ixabepilone may be safely combined with PLD, but tolerability is highly dependent upon the scheduling of both agents. This combination demonstrated efficacy in patients with breast and ovarian cancer and merits further evaluation in these settings.
PMCID: PMC2980936  PMID: 20357034
breast cancer; ixabepilone; liposomal doxorubicin; ovarian cancer
15.  A phase I study of irinotecan and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in recurrent ovarian cancer (Tohoku Gynecologic Cancer Unit 104 study) 
A phase I clinical study was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the recommended dose (RD) of irinotecan hydrochloride (CPT-11) in CPT-11/pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) combination therapy, a novel treatment regimen for platinum- and taxane-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer.
Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin was administered intravenously on day 3 at a fixed dose of 30 mg/m2. CPT-11 was administered intravenously on days 1 and 15, at a dose of 50 mg/m2 on both days. One course of chemotherapy was 28 days, and patients were given a maximum of six courses, with the CPT-11 dose being increased in increments of 10 mg/m2 (level 1, 50 mg/m2; level 2, 60 mg/m2; level 3, 70 mg/m2; level 4, 80 mg/m2) to determine MTD and RD.
During the period from April 2010 to March 2013, three patients were enrolled for each level. In the first course, no dose-limiting toxicity occurred in any of the patients. Grade 4 neutropenia was observed in two of three patients at level 4. At level 4, the antitumor effect was a partial response (PR) in two of the three patients and stable disease (SD) in one. At level 3, one of the three patients showed PR and two had SD. At level 4, the start of the next course was postponed in two of three patients. In addition, one patient at level 4 experienced hemotoxicity that met the criteria for dose reduction in the next course. The above results suggested that administration of CPT-11 at dose level 5 (90 mg/m2) would result in more patients with severe neutropenia and in more patients requiring postponement of the next course or a dose reduction. Based on the above, the RD of CPT-11 was determined to be 80 mg/m2.
The results suggest that CPT-11/PLD combination therapy for recurrent ovarian cancer is a useful treatment method with a high response rate and manageable adverse reactions. In the future phase II study, the safety and efficacy of this therapy will be assessed at 80 mg/m2 of CPT-11 and 30 mg/m2 of PLD.
PMCID: PMC4000409  PMID: 24585045
Recurrent ovarian cancer; Chemotherapy; CPT-11; PLD
16.  Effect of trabectedin on the QT interval in patients with advanced solid tumor malignancies 
The primary objective of this study was to access the potential effects of trabectedin on the QT/QTc interval in patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors.
Patients (n = 75) who had received ≤3 previous lines of chemotherapy and had either relapsed or had progressive disease were enrolled. Patients were administered 3-h intravenous infusions of placebo (saline) on day 1 and trabectedin (1.3 mg/m2) on day 2. Time-matched serial triplicate ECG recordings and pharmacokinetic blood samples were collected over 24 h on both days. Heart rate corrected mean QT intervals and changes from predose baseline in QTc (ΔQTc) were assessed. The difference in ΔQTc between trabectedin and placebo was calculated at each time point (ΔΔQTc).
The upper limits of the 90% confidence interval for ΔΔQTcF and ΔΔQTcB at all time points were less than the prespecified noninferiority margin of 10 ms (≤6.65 ms). No patient had a QTc > 500 ms or a time-matched increase from baseline in QTc > 60 ms at any time point. Regression analyses indicated ΔΔQTc was poorly correlated with trabectedin concentration. No adverse events suggestive of proarrhythmic potential were reported.
Trabectedin did not prolong the QTc interval. Safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of trabectedin were similar to that observed in other ovarian and breast cancer studies.
PMCID: PMC3265736  PMID: 21739119
Anti-tumor; ECG; Malignancies; QTc interval; Trabectedin
17.  A multicentric observational trial of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin for metastatic breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:2.
Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) is active in metastatic breast cancer. This observational study evaluated the efficacy and safety of PLD in patients treated during routine clinical practice.
Eligible patients had metastatic breast cancer and were treated with PLD according to the dose and schedule determined by their physician as part of routine practice. The primary objectives were to analyze the efficacy and toxicity of PLD therapy.
125 patients were assessable. Median age was 62 years, 78% had performance status 0-1, and 60% had estrogen-receptor-positive disease. PLD treatment was second- or third-line in 69% of patients. Prior anthracyclines (adjuvant or metastatic) had been used in 56% of patients. The majority of patients (79%) received PLD every 4 weeks at a median dose of 40 mg/m2. Overall response rate was 43% in all patients and 34% in those previously treated with anthracyclines. The most common grade 3/4 adverse events were skin toxicity/hand-foot syndrome (6%), and leukopenia (3%).
This observational study supports the activity and tolerability of PLD in metastatic breast cancer as demonstrated in PLD clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2806246  PMID: 20047698
18.  Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin-Induced Acute Transient Encephalopathy in a Patient with Breast Cancer: A Case Report 
Case Reports in Oncology  2014;7(1):228-232.
Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) has a unique pharmacokinetic profile and is widely used to treat a variety of malignancies, alone or in combination with other agents.
Case Report
A 57-year-old female patient with metastatic breast cancer developed dural metastases to the brain and underwent craniotomy and whole-brain radiation. She continued to receive chemotherapy with carboplatin without any serious complications. Four months later, there was evidence of progression leading to the institution of PLD. During the first course of PLD, there was evidence of acute encephalopathy which resolved after 18 h with discontinuation of this agent. Interestingly, she did well when she was rechallenged with conventional doxorubicin in the following cycles.
We hereby report, to the best of our knowledge, the first case of acute transient encephalopathy induced by PLD. We postulate that partial disruption of the blood-brain barrier may have been responsible for PLD-induced encephalopathy.
PMCID: PMC4000299  PMID: 24803900
Breast cancer; Encephalopathy; Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin; Blood-brain barrier; Brain metastasis
19.  Therapeutic Efficacy of Combining PEGylated Liposomal Doxorubicin and Radiofrequency (RF) Ablation: Comparison between Slow-Drug-Releasing, Non-Thermosensitive and Fast-Drug-Releasing, Thermosensitive Nano-Liposomes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e92555.
To determine how the accumulation of drug in mice bearing an extra-hepatic tumor and its therapeutic efficacy are affected by the type of PEGylated liposomal doxorubicin used, treatment modality, and rate of drug release from the liposomes, when combined with radiofrequency (RF) ablation.
Materials and Methods
Two nano-drugs, both long-circulating PEGylated doxorubicin liposomes, were formulated: (1) PEGylated doxorubicin in thermosensitive liposomes (PLDTS), having a burst-type fast drug release above the liposomes’ solid ordered to liquid disordered phase transition (at 42°C), and (2) non-thermosensitive PEGylated doxorubicin liposomes (PLDs), having a slow and continuous drug release. Both were administered intravenously at 8 mg/kg doxorubicin dose to tumor-bearing mice. Animals were divided into 6 groups: no treatment, PLD, RF, RF+PLD, PLDTS, and PLDTS+RF, for intra-tumor doxorubicin deposition at 1, 24, and 72 h post-injection (in total 41, mice), and 31 mice were used for randomized survival studies.
Non-thermosensitive PLD combined with RF had the least tumor growth and the best end-point survival, better than PLDTS+RF (p<0.005) or all individual therapies (p<0.001). Although at 1 h post-treatment the greatest amount of intra-tumoral doxorubicin was seen following PLDTS+RF (p<0.05), by 24 and 72 h the greatest doxorubicin amount was seen for PLD+RF (p<0.05); in this group the tumor also has the longest exposure to doxorubicin.
Optimizing therapeutic efficacy of PLD requires a better understanding of the relationship between the effect of RF on tumor microenvironment and liposome drug release profile. If drug release is too fast, the benefit of changing the microenvironment by RF on tumor drug localization and therapeutic efficacy may be much smaller than for PLDs having slow and temperature-independent drug release. Thus the much longer circulation time of doxorubicin from PLD than from PLDTS may be beneficial in many therapeutic instances, especially in extra-hepatic tumors.
PMCID: PMC4006748  PMID: 24786533
20.  Efficacy of trabectedin in metastatic solitary fibrous tumor 
Rare Tumors  2011;3(3):e29.
Solitary fibrous tumor is a rare tumor type and has an unpredictable course. Local recurrence rate varies between 9 and 19%, and rate of metastatic involvement between 0 and 36 %. It is characterized by a typical architecture and immuno-histochemistry tests. The most important prognostic factor is the complete resection of primary tumor. Treatment of recurrences is not clearly established. If a solitary fibrous tumor is too advanced to allow surgical resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be used. The most often used drugs are doxorubicine and\or ifosfamide. We report the case of man with metastatic solitary fibrous tumor treated with trabectedin, administered at a dose of 1.5 mg/m² every 3 weeks. After 3 cycles, metastases had significantly decreased. Recurrence of the disease was demonstrated 8 months after the start of trabectedin. This case shows that trabectedin is a possible treatment option.
PMCID: PMC3208416  PMID: 22066036
metastatic solitary fibrous tumor; trabectedin.
21.  Trabectedin and its potential in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma 
Trabectedin is a new marine-derived compound that binds the DNA minor groove and interacts with proteins of the DNA repair machinery. Phase I trials have established the standard regimen as 1500 μg/m2 24-hour continuous infusion repeated every 3 weeks. Several phase II trials have shown response in 5%–10% of unselected patients with soft tissue sarcoma failing prior chemotherapy and disease stabilisation in 30%–40%. Furthermore, prolonged disease control has been described in 15%–20% of patients. Toxicities are mainly haematological and hepatic with grade 3–4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia observed in approximately 50% and 20% of patients respectively, and grade 3–4 elevation of liver enzymes observed in 35%–50% of patients treated with trabectedin. Current research focuses on the identification of predictive factors for patients with soft tissue sarcoma treated with trabectedin.
PMCID: PMC2503645  PMID: 18728699
chemotherapy; sarcoma; drug development; DNA repair
22.  Phase II Clinical Trial With Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin (CAELYX®/Doxil®) and Quality of Life Evaluation (EORTC QLQ-C30) in Adult Patients With Advanced Soft Tissue Sarcomas: A study of the Spanish Group for Research in Sarcomas (GEIS) 
Sarcoma  2005;9(3-4):127-132.
Background: Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD), a formulation with pharmacokinetic differences with respect to doxorubicin (DXR), might benefit patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) pretreated with DXR.
Patients and methods: Patients with measurable and progressive STS received PLD at 35 mg/2 every 3 weeks. Quality of life before and during treatment was assessed with EORTC QLQ-C30.
Results: Twenty-eight patients, 22 DXR-pretreated, were given 140 cycles (median 3, range 1–18). Activity in 27 patients (5 GIST): one complete and one partial remission (both non-GIST and without prior DXR), 12 stabilizations and 13 progressions (response rate 7.4%, 95% CI: 0–17%). Grade 3 toxicity: palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (19% of patients), stomatitis (4%) or cutaneous (4%). Neutropenia grade≥3 was detected in 16% of patients. Median relative dose intensity was 95%. Progression-free rate at 3 and 6 months was, respectively, 48 and 22%, median progression-free survival 5.8 months and median overall survival 8.7 months. QLQ-C30 at baseline and at weeks 6–11 in 23 and 13 patients, respectively, showed good reliability and validity. Quality of life did not seem to worsen during therapy.
Conclusions: PLD did not induce objective remissions in 22 STS patients pretreated with DXR, but progression-free rate figures support the use of this agent in patients who have not progressed under a DXR-containing regimen. The toxicity observed was comparable to that of other PLD schedules.
PMCID: PMC2395634  PMID: 18521419
23.  Randomized Trial of Paclitaxel versus Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin for Advanced Human Immunodeficiency Virus-associated Kaposi’s Sarcoma: Evidence for Symptom Palliation from Chemotherapy 
Cancer  2010;116(16):3969-3977.
Paclitaxel (PTX) and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) are active cytotoxic agents for the treatment of human immunodeficiency (HIV) associated Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS). We performed a randomized trial comparing the efficacy and toxicity of PTX and PLD, and determine the effects of therapy on symptom palliation and quality of life.
Patients with advanced HIV-associated KS were randomly assigned to receive PTX (100 mg/m2) IV every 2 weeks, or PLD 20 mg/m2 IV every 3 weeks. The KS Functional Assessment of HIV (FAHI) Quality of Life instrument was used before and after every other treatment cycle.
The study included 73 analyzable patients enrolled between 1998 and 2002, including 36 in the PTX arm and 37 in the PLD arm; 73% received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and 32% had undetectable viral load (<400 copies/mL). Treatment was associated with significant improvement in pain (P=0.024) and swelling (P<0.001). Of the 36 patients who reported that pain interfered with their normal work or activities at baseline, 25 (69%) improved. Of the 41 patients who reported swelling at baseline, 38 (93%) improved. Comparing the PTX and PLD arms revealed comparable response rates (56% vs. 46%; p=0.49), median progression free survival (17.5 vs. 12.2 months; p=0.66), and 2-year survival (79% vs. 78%; p=0.75), but somewhat more grade 3–5 toxicity for PTX (84% vs. 66%, p=0.077).
Treatment with either PTX or PLD produces significant improvement in pain and swelling in patients with advanced, symptomatic, HIV-associated KS treated in the early HAART era.
PMCID: PMC3157242  PMID: 20564162
HIV infection; AIDS; Kaposi’s sarcoma; paclitaxel; pegylated liposomal doxorubicin
24.  Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin/carboplatin combination in ovarian cancer, progressing on single-agent pegylated liposomal doxorubicin 
AIM: To assess the efficacy and safety of the combination of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) and carboplatin in patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian carcinoma (ROC), following disease progression on single agent PLD.
METHODS: An analysis of the medical records of 10 patients with ROC, treated in our institution with a combination of PLD and carboplatin following progression on single-agent PLD therapy was performed. The median age was 59.1 years (range, 45 to 77 years). All diagnoses were histological-proven. Eight of the 10 patients were platinum-resistant. Following disease progression on single-agent PLD treatment, carboplatin area under the curve (AUC)-5 was added to PLD in all 10 patients. In order to assess disease status, Ca-125 was assessed before each PLD/carboplatin treatment. Relative changes in Ca-125 values were calculated, and response defined as a greater than 50% reduction in Ca-125 from baseline. Radiographic studies were re-evaluated and responses to therapy based on computer tomography (CT) scans carried out on a regular basis every 2-3 mo in each patient. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS (V19).
RESULTS: A median of 10 cycles (range, 2-26) of the carboplatin-PLD combination was given. Of the 10 treated patients, 6 had > 50% reduction in Ca-125 levels from baseline, 4 of these had a partial response according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria, and the other 2 patients had no measurable disease. In a further 2 patients with a best response of disease stabilization and < 50% reduction of Ca-125 levels, one had progression of disease after 26 cycles, and the second progressed with brain metastases following 12 cycles. Seven of the eight patients who were platinum-resistant showed evidence of clinical benefit on carboplatin-PLD combination therapy; 5 of these had > 50% reduction in Ca-125 level, 4 also showed a partial response on CT scan. The treatment was generally well-tolerated by the patients.
CONCLUSION: Addition of carboplatin to PLD, after disease progression on single-agent PLD therapy, is both effective and safe in patients with ROC, even in those with Platinum-resistant disease.
PMCID: PMC3509111  PMID: 23198277
Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin; Carboplatin; Ovarian cancerchemotherapy; Platinum-resistant ovarian cancer; Platinum sensitive ovarian cancer
25.  Tolerability, Efficacy, and Safety of Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin in Combination with Carboplatin Versus Gemcitabine–Carboplatin for the Treatment of Platinum-Sensitive Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: A Systematic Review 
The Oncologist  2010;15(10):1073-1082.
A review of the literature was used to compare the tolerability, efficacy, and safety profiles of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in combination with carboplatin with those of gemcitabine–carboplatin for the treatment of patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer.
To compare the tolerability, efficacy, and safety profiles of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in combination with carboplatin (PLD–Carbo) with those of gemcitabine–carboplatin (Gem–Carbo) for the treatment of patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (PSROC) by reviewing the published literature.
Using the PubMed database, a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature published between January 2000 and September 2009 was undertaken to identify studies related to the treatment of patients with PSROC with PLD–Carbo or Gem–Carbo. Studies reporting either response rate, progression-free survival (PFS), and/or overall survival (OS) were included. Treatment regimens, efficacy endpoints, and safety profiles were compared between the two combination therapies.
Ten studies evaluating 608 patients (PLD–Carbo: 5 studies, 278 patients; Gem–Carbo: 5 studies, 330 patients) were identified. The mean planned doses were: PLD, 34.8 mg/m2 and Gem, 993 mg/m2. The dose intensity reported in Gem trials was lower (75% of the planned dose) than the dose intensity reported in PLD trials (93.7% of the planned dose), suggesting better tolerability for the PLD–Carbo regimen. Among patients receiving PLD–Carbo, 60.2% achieved a response (complete, 27.0%; partial, 33.2%), versus 51.4% of patients treated with Gem–Carbo (complete, 19.2%; partial, 32.2%). The median PFS times were 10.6 months and 8.9 months in the PLD–Carbo and the Gem–Carbo populations, respectively. The median OS was longer for the PLD–Carbo regimen (27.1 months) than for the Gem–Carbo regimen (19.7 months). The hematological safety profiles were comparable in the two groups, although grade III or IV anemia (PLD–Carbo, 13.6%; Gem–Carbo, 24.5%) and neutropenia (PLD–Carbo, 45.5%; Gem–Carbo, 62.9%) were more common in patients receiving Gem–Carbo.
Results from this systematic analysis of peer-reviewed literature suggest that PLD–Carbo therapy is a rational alternative to Gem–Carbo for the treatment of patients with PSROC.
PMCID: PMC3227899  PMID: 20930103
Ovarian cancer; Platinum; Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin; Gemcitabine; Carboplatin

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