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1.  The Tumor Targeted Superantigen ABR-217620 Selectively Engages TRBV7-9 and Exploits TCR-pMHC Affinity Mimicry in Mediating T Cell Cytotoxicity 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e79082.
The T lymphocytes are the most important effector cells in immunotherapy of cancer. The conceptual objective for developing the tumor targeted superantigen (TTS) ABR-217620 (naptumomab estafenatox, 5T4Fab-SEA/E-120), now in phase 3 studies for advanced renal cell cancer, was to selectively coat tumor cells with cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) target structures functionally similar to natural CTL pMHC target molecules. Here we present data showing that the molecular basis for the anti-tumor activity by ABR-217620 resides in the distinct interaction between the T cell receptor β variable (TRBV) 7-9 and the engineered superantigen (Sag) SEA/E-120 in the fusion protein bound to the 5T4 antigen on tumor cells. Multimeric but not monomeric ABR-217620 selectively stains TRBV7-9 expressing T lymphocytes from human peripheral blood similar to antigen specific staining of T cells with pMHC tetramers. SEA/E-120 selectively activates TRBV7-9 expressing T lymphocytes resulting in expansion of the subset. ABR-217620 selectively triggers TRBV7-9 expressing cytotoxic T lymphocytes to kill 5T4 positive tumor cells. Furthermore, ABR-217620 activates TRBV7-9 expressing T cell line cells in the presence of cell- and bead-bound 5T4 tumor antigen. Surface plasmon resonance analysis revealed that ABR-217620 binds to 5T4 with high affinity, to TRBV7-9 with low affinity and to MHC class II with very low affinity. The T lymphocyte engagement by ABR-217620 is constituted by displaying high affinity binding to the tumor cells (KD approximately 1 nM) and with the mimicry of natural productive immune TCR-pMHC contact using affinities of around 1 µM. This difference in kinetics between the two components of the ABR-217620 fusion protein will bias the binding towards the 5T4 target antigen, efficiently activating T-cells via SEA/E-120 only when presented by the tumor cells.
PMCID: PMC3806850  PMID: 24194959
2.  Immunological response and overall survival in a subset of advanced renal cell carcinoma patients from a randomized phase 2/3 study of naptumomab estafenatox plus IFN-α versus IFN-α 
Oncotarget  2015;6(6):4428-4439.
Naptumomab estafenatox/ABR-217620/ANYARA (Nap) has been evaluated in clinical phase 1 and 2/3 studies. RCC patients in the phase 2/3 trial were randomized 1:1 in an open label study to receive Nap+IFN-α or IFN-α. In this study, we analyzed the UK patients for their immunological response in relation to prolonged overall survival (OS). We found that Nap-specific T cells were reduced after 3 treatment days in patients' peripheral blood. Levels of both Nap-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were significantly higher 8 days after the first treatment. Patients with such pattern of reduction and expansion of Nap-binding T cells also showed increased levels of IL-2 and IFN-γ in plasma 3 hours after the first Nap treatment. In addition, Nap caused an increase of IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α. The patients in the UK subset showed a tendency of OS benefit after Nap treatment. Most Nap treated patients with long OS had low baseline IL-6 and normal levels of anti-SEA/E-120 antibodies. Furthermore, patients with pronounced Nap induced IL-2 and T cell expansion had long OS. In conclusion, patients with low baseline IL-6 and normal anti-SEA/E-120 may respond well to Nap by T cell activation and expansion paving the way for anti-tumour effects.
PMCID: PMC4414201  PMID: 25669986
Renal cell carcinoma; naptumomab estafenatox; ABR-217620; immune analysis; overall survival
3.  Intercalated Erlotinib-Docetaxel Dosing Schedules Designed to Achieve Pharmacodynamic Separation: Results of a Phase I/II Trial 
Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs) given concurrently with chemotherapy do not improve patient outcomes compared with chemotherapy alone in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Based on preclinical models, we hypothesized pharmacodynamic separation, achieved by intermittent delivery of EGFR TKIs intercalated with chemotherapy, as a reasonable strategy to deliver combination therapy.
A Phase I dose-escalating trial employing two scheduling strategies (arm A and arm B) was conducted in advanced solid tumor patients to determine the feasibility of intermittent erlotinib and docetaxel. Phase II efficacy evaluation was conducted in an expanded cohort of previously treated advanced NSCLC patients using arm B scheduling. Docetaxel was given every 21 days (70–75 mg/m2 intravenously) in both arms. In arm A, erlotinib was administered on Days 2, 9, and 16 (600–1000 mg); in arm B, erlotinib was delivered on Days 2 through 16 (150 – 300 mg). Patients without progression or unacceptable toxicity after 6 cycles continued erlotinib alone.
Eighty-one patients were enrolled in this study (17 arm A; 25 arm B; 39 at phase II dose). Phase I patients had advanced solid tumors and 22 with NSCLC (10 and 12 patients for arms A and B, respectively). Treatment was well-tolerated for both arms, with dose-limiting toxicities including: grade 3 infection and febrile neutropenia in arm A (maximum tolerated dose [MTD] of erlotinib 600 mg/docetaxel 70 mg/m2); grade 4 rash, febrile neutropenia, grade 3 mucositis, and grade 3 diarrhea in arm B (MTD of erlotinib 200 mg/docetaxel 70 mg/m2). The MTD for arm B was chosen for phase II evaluation given the feasibility of administration, number of responses (1 complete response, 3 partial responses), and achievement of pharmacodynamic separation. The response rate for patients treated at the phase II dose was 28.2% and disease control rate was 64.1%. Median progression-free and overall survival was 4.1 and 18.2 months, respectively. Common grade ≥ 3 toxicities were neutropenia (36%) and diarrhea (18%).
Pharmacodynamic separation utilizing intercalated schedules of erlotinib delivered on an intermittent basis together with docetaxel chemotherapy is feasible and tolerable. Further studies employing this approach together with interrogation of relevant molecular pathways are ongoing.
PMCID: PMC3219834  PMID: 21892109
erlotinib; docetaxel; pharmacodynamic separation; non-small cell lung cancer; phase II
4.  A phase I trial of docetaxel and pulse-dose 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin in adult patients with solid tumors 
Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology  2011;69(4):1089-1097.
To define maximum tolerated dose (MTD), clinical toxicities, and pharmacokinetics of 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) when administered in combination with docetaxel once every 21 days in patients with advanced solid tumor malignancies.
Experimental design
Docetaxel was administered over 1 h at doses of 55, 70, and 75 mg/m2. 17-AAG was administered over 1–2 h, following the completion of the docetaxel infusion, at escalating doses ranging from 80 to 650 mg/m2 in 12 patient cohorts. Serum was collected for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies during cycle 1. Docetaxel, 17-AAG, and 17-AG levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Biologic effects of 17-AAG were monitored in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by immunoblot.
Forty-nine patients received docetaxel and 17-AAG. The most common all-cause grade 3 and 4 toxicities were leukopenia, lymphopenia, and neutropenia. An MTD was not defined; however, three dose-limiting toxicities were observed, including 2 incidences of neutropenic fever and 1 of junctional bradycardia. Dose escalation was halted at docetaxel 75 mg/m2-17-AAG 650 mg/m2 due to delayed toxicities attributed to patient intolerance of the DMSO-based 17-AAG formulation. Of 46 evaluable patients, 1 patient with lung cancer experienced a partial response. Minor responses were observed in patients with lung, prostate, melanoma, and bladder cancers. A correlation between reduced docetaxel clearance and 17-AAG dose level was observed.
The combination of docetaxel and 17-AAG was well tolerated in adult patients with solid tumors, although patient intolerance to the DMSO formulation precluded further dose escalation. The recommended phase II dose is docetaxel 70 mg/m2 and 17-AAG 500 mg/m2.
PMCID: PMC3471133  PMID: 22124669
17-AAG; Geldanamycin; Hsp90; Docetaxel; Phase I
5.  Phase I/II trial of a biweekly combination of S-1 plus docetaxel in patients with previously treated non-small cell lung cancer (KRSG-0601) 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;107(9):1474-1480.
Combination of S-1, an oral fluorouracil derivative, plus docetaxel against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) showed promising efficacy but clinically problematic emesis. A phase I/II study utilising a new schedule for this combination was conducted.
A biweekly regimen of docetaxel on day 1 with oral S-1 on days 1–7 was administered to previously treated NSCLC patients. Doses of docetaxel/S-1 were escalated to 30/80, 35/80, and 40/80 mg m−2, respectively, and its efficacy was investigated at the recommended dose below maximum tolerated dose (MTD).
In phase I study employing 13 patients, dose-limiting toxicities were febrile neutropenia and treatment delay, with the respective MTDs for docetaxel 40 mg m−2/S-1 80 mg m−2. In the phase II study, 34 patients were treated with docetaxel 35 mg m−2/S-1 80 mg m−2 for a median cycle of 6. The response and disease control rates were 34.3% (95% confidence interval (CI), 18.6–50.0%) and 62.9% (95% CI, 46.8–72.9%), respectively. Median progression-free survival was 150.5 days. Haematologic grade 4 toxicities were observed in neutropenia (11.8%) and thrombocytopenia (2.9%). Regarding non-haematologic toxicities, including emesis, there were no grade 3/4 side effects.
Combination of 1-week administration of S-1 with biweekly docetaxel is safe and active for NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC3493772  PMID: 23033004
non-small cell lung cancer; docetaxel; S-1; phase I study; phase II study
6.  PR-104 a bioreductive pre-prodrug combined with gemcitabine or docetaxel in a phase Ib study of patients with advanced solid tumours 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:496.
The purpose of this phase Ib clinical trial was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of PR-104 a bioreductive pre-prodrug given in combination with gemcitabine or docetaxel in patients with advanced solid tumours.
PR-104 was administered as a one-hour intravenous infusion combined with docetaxel 60 to 75 mg/m2 on day one given with or without granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) on day two or administrated with gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 on days one and eight, of a 21-day treatment cycle. Patients were assigned to one of ten PR-104 dose-levels ranging from 140 to 1100 mg/m2 and to one of four combination groups. Pharmacokinetic studies were scheduled for cycle one day one and 18F fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) positron emission tomography hypoxia imaging at baseline and after two treatment cycles.
Forty two patients (23 females and 19 males) were enrolled with ages ranging from 27 to 85 years and a wide range of advanced solid tumours. The MTD of PR-104 was 140 mg/m2 when combined with gemcitabine, 200 mg/m2 when combined with docetaxel 60 mg/m2, 770 mg/m2 when combined with docetaxel 60 mg/m2 plus G-CSF and ≥770 mg/m2 when combined with docetaxel 75 mg/m2 plus G-CSF. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) across all four combination settings included thrombocytopenia, neutropenic fever and fatigue. Other common grade three or four toxicities included neutropenia, anaemia and leukopenia. Four patients had partial tumour response. Eleven of 17 patients undergoing FMISO scans showed tumour hypoxia at baseline. Plasma pharmacokinetics of PR-104, its metabolites (alcohol PR-104A, glucuronide PR-104G, hydroxylamine PR-104H, amine PR-104M and semi-mustard PR-104S1), docetaxel and gemcitabine were similar to that of their single agents.
Combination of PR-104 with docetaxel or gemcitabine caused dose-limiting and severe myelotoxicity, but prophylactic G-CSF allowed PR-104 dose escalation with docetaxel. Dose-limiting thrombocytopenia prohibited further evaluation of the PR104-gemcitabine combination. A recommended dose was identified for phase II trials of PR-104 of 770 mg/m2 combined with docetaxel 60 to 75 mg/m2 both given on day one of a 21-day treatment cycle supported by prophylactic G-CSF (NCT00459836).
PMCID: PMC3495895  PMID: 23098625
7.  Sunitinib in combination with docetaxel in patients with advanced solid tumors: a phase I dose-escalation study 
Sunitinib in combination with docetaxel enhances antitumor activity in xenograft models of human breast and non-small cell lung cancer. We assessed the maximum tolerated doses (MTDs), safety, pharmacokinetic profiles, and preliminary efficacy of sunitinib plus docetaxel in patients with advanced solid tumors.
In this phase I study, successive patient cohorts received sunitinib 25, 37.5, or 50 mg/day for 4 weeks of a 6-week cycle (Schedule 4/2, 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off) or for 2 weeks of a 3-week cycle (Schedule 2/1, 2 weeks on, 1 week off) with docetaxel 60 or 75 mg/m2 IV q21d to determine the MTDs of this treatment combination.
Fifty patients enrolled: 10 on Schedule 4/2 and 40 on Schedule 2/1. MTDs were established as sunitinib 25 mg on Schedule 4/2 with docetaxel 60 mg/m2 q21d, and as sunitinib 37.5 mg on Schedule 2/1 with docetaxel 75 mg/m2 q21d. On Schedule 2/1, the most frequent dose-limiting toxicity was neutropenia (±fever; grade [G]3/4, n = 5) and the most common G3/4 non-hematologic adverse event (AE) was fatigue (G3, n = 8). Hematologic AEs were managed with growth factor support in 11 of 23 (48%) patients treated at Schedule 2/1 MTD. Three patients achieved a partial response at the Schedule 2/1 MTD. There were no pharmacokinetic drug–drug interactions with either schedule.
Oral sunitinib 37.5 mg/day on Schedule 2/1 with docetaxel 75 mg/m2 IV q21d is a clinically feasible regimen with a manageable safety profile, no pharmacokinetic drug–drug interactions, and shows antitumor activity in patients with advanced solid tumors.
PMCID: PMC2904454  PMID: 20043166
Sunitinib; Docetaxel; Solid tumors; Phase I; NSCLC; Antiangiogenesis
8.  A phase I study with an expanded cohort to assess feasibility of intravenous docetaxel, intraperitoneal carboplatin and intraperitoneal paclitaxel in patients with previously untreated ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal carcinoma: A Gynecologic Oncology Group Study 
Gynecologic oncology  2012;127(3):506-510.
To define the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and assess the feasibility of intravenous (IV) docetaxel, intraperitoneal (IP) carboplatin and IP paclitaxel in women with Stage II-IV untreated ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal carcinoma.
Patients received docetaxel (55-75 mg/m2) IV and carboplatin (AUC 5-7) IP on day 1 and paclitaxel 60 mg/m2 IP on day 8. A standard 3+3 design was used in the dose escalation phase. A 2-stage group sequential design with 20 patients at the MTD was used in the feasibility phase.
The MTD determined during the dose escalation phase was day 1 docetaxel 75 mg/m2 IV, carboplatin AUC 6 IP and day 8 IP paclitaxel 60 mg/m2. Forty-six patients were enrolled in the feasibility portion at this dose level. Six were unevaluable. Fifteen evaluable patients had dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) within the first four cycles. These DLTs were prolonged neutropenia (2), neutropenic fever (7), grade 4 thrombocytopenia (1), grade 4 dehydration (1), grade 3 infection (2), grade 3 oral mucositis (1) and pulmonary embolism (1).
Docetaxel 75 mg/m2 IV, carboplatin AUC 6 IP administered on day 1, and paclitaxel 60 mg/m2 IP administered on day 8, is the MTD when considering one cycle of treatment but was not feasible over four cycles due to bone marrow toxicity. We recommend reduction of carboplatin to AUC 5 should this regimen be considered for treatment in women with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC4527869  PMID: 22943879
9.  A Phase I study of AT-101 with Cisplatin and Etoposide in patients with advanced solid tumors with an Expanded Cohort in Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Investigational new drugs  2013;32(2):295-302.
A phase I, dose-escalation study of AT-101 with cisplatin and etoposide was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD)/recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D), safety and pharmacokinetics in patients with advanced solid tumors, with an expanded cohort in patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC) to assess preliminary activity.
In the dose escalation portion, increasing doses of AT-101 were administered orally BID on days 1–3 along with cisplatin on day 1 and etoposide on days 1–3 of a 21 day cycle. At the RP2D, an additional 7 patients with untreated ES-SCLC were enrolled.
Twenty patients were enrolled in the dose-escalation cohort, and 7 patients with ES-SCLC were enrolled in the expanded cohort. The MTD/RP2D was established at AT-101 40 mg BID days 1–3 with cisplatin 60 mg/m2 and etoposide 120 mg/m2 on day 1 of a 21 day cycle with pegfilgrastim support. Two DLTs of neutropenic fever were seen at dose level 1. After the addition of pegfilgrastim, no additional DLTs were observed. Grade 3/4 treatment-related toxicities included: diarrhea, increased AST, neutropenia, hypophosphatemia, hyponatremia, myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism. No apparent PK interactions were observed between the agents. Preliminary activity was observed with PRs in patients with ES-SCLC, high-grade neuroendocrine tumor, esophageal cancer and NSCLC.
AT-101 with cisplatin and etoposide is well tolerated with growth factor support. Anti-tumor activity was observed in a variety of cancers including ES-SCLC, supporting further investigation with BH-3 mimetics in combination with standard chemotherapy for ES-SCLC.
PMCID: PMC3895103  PMID: 23860642
AT-101; cisplatin; etoposide; phase I; extensive-stage small cell lung cancer
10.  Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of everolimus, an mTOR inhibitor, in combination with docetaxel for recurrent/refractory non-small cell lung cancer 
Cancer  2010;116(16):3903-3909.
Everolimus is a novel inhibitor of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which is aberrantly activated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We conducted a phase I and pharmacokinetic study of everolimus and docetaxel for recurrent NSCLC.
Patients with advanced stage NSCLC and progression following prior platinum-based chemotherapy were eligible. Sequential cohorts were treated with escalating doses of docetaxel (day 1) and everolimus (PO daily, days 1–19), every 3 weeks. Pharmacokinetic (PK) sampling of everolimus and docetaxel were done in cycle 1. The primary endpoint was determination of the recommended phase II doses (RP2D) of the combination.
Twenty-four patients were enrolled. Median age, 62 yrs; Females, 11; number of prior regimens, 1(n=13), 2 (n=6), ≥3 (n=5) ECOG PS 0(n=6), 1(n=17). The dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) were fever with grade 3/4 neutropenia, grade 3 fatigue and grade 3 mucositis. None of the 7 patients treated at the RP2D (docetaxel 60 mg/m2 and everolimus 5 mg daily) experienced DLT. Everolimus area under the concentration time curve (AUC) was not different with 60 or 75 mg/m2 docetaxel. Mean ±SD AUC-based accumulation factors (R) for everolimus on days 8 and 15 were 1.16 ± 0.37 and 1.42 ± 0.42, respectively. Docetaxel day 1 half-life was 9.4 ± 3.4 hours. Among 21 patients evaluable, 1 had a partial response, and 10 had disease stabilization.
The RP2D of docetaxel and everolimus for combination therapy are 60 mg/m2 and 5 mg PO daily, respectively. Promising anti-cancer activity has been noted.
PMCID: PMC2940062  PMID: 20564143
Everolimus; docetaxel; phase I; pharmacokinetics; non-small cell lung cancer
11.  Phase I dose-escalating study of docetaxel in combination with 5-day continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil in patients with advanced gastric cancer 
BMC Cancer  2005;5:87.
Published data suggests that docetaxel combined with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) may have synergistic activity in treating advanced gastric cancer. We performed a phase I study of docetaxel and 5-FU to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), the recommended dose for phase II studies, and the safety of this combination.
Eligible patients had recurrent and/or metastatic advanced gastric cancer with normal cardiac, renal and hepatic function. Traditional phase I methodology was employed in assessing dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) and MTD. On day 1 every 3 weeks, docetaxel 75 mg/m2 (fixed dose) was infused over 1-h, followed immediately by 5-FU as a 5-day continuous infusion.
Dose escalation schema was as follows: dose level (DL) 1 (5-FU 250 mg/m2/day), 2 (500), 3 (750), and 4 (1000). Three patients were enrolled on DL1, without DLT. On DL2, 1 DLT (grade 3 stomatitis) was developed in first 3 patients, and this cohort was expanded to 6 patients. Three patients had been enrolled on DL3. Because two out of 3 patients had DLTs, the MTD was reached at DL3.
The recommended phase II dose of this combination is 75 mg/m2 docetaxel on day 1 immediately followed by a 5-day continuous infusion of 5-FU 500 mg/m2/day.
PMCID: PMC1183196  PMID: 16042786
12.  Phase 1b dose-finding study of motesanib with docetaxel or paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of motesanib when combined with docetaxel or paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer. In this open-label, dose-finding, phase 1b study, patients received motesanib 50 or 125-mg orally once daily (QD), beginning day 3 of cycle 1 of chemotherapy, continuously in combination with either paclitaxel 90 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 every 28-day cycle (Arm A) or docetaxel 100 mg/m2 on day 1 every 21-day cycle (Arm B). Dose escalation to motesanib 125 mg QD occurred if the incidence of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs, primary endpoint) was ≤33 %. If the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of motesanib was established in Arm B, additional patients could receive motesanib at the MTD plus docetaxel 75 mg/m2. Forty-six patients were enrolled and 45 received ≥1 dose of motesanib. The incidence of DLTs was <33 % in all cohorts; thus, motesanib 125 mg QD was established as the MTD. Seven patients (16 %) had grade 3 motesanib-related adverse events including cholecystitis (2 patients) and hypertension (2 patients). Pharmacokinetic parameters of motesanib were similar to those reported in previous studies. The objective response rate was 56 % among patients with measurable disease at baseline who received motesanib in combination with taxane-based chemotherapy. The addition of motesanib to either paclitaxel or docetaxel was generally tolerable up to the 125-mg QD dose of motesanib. The objective response rate of 56 % suggests a potential benefit of motesanib in combination with taxane-based chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3413817  PMID: 22872523
Motesanib; Breast cancer; Angiogenesis; VEGF; Chemotherapy
13.  A phase I dose-escalation and pharmacokinetic study of sunitinib in combination with pemetrexed in patients with advanced solid malignancies, with an expanded cohort in non-small cell lung cancer 
The primary objective of this phase I dose-escalation study was to identify the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of sunitinib plus pemetrexed in patients with advanced cancer.
Using a 3 + 3 dose-escalation design, patients received oral sunitinib qd by continuous daily dosing (CDD schedule; 37.5 or 50 mg) or 2 weeks on/1 week off treatment schedule (Schedule 2/1; 50 mg). Pemetrexed (300–500 mg/m2 IV) was administered q3w. At the proposed recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D), additional patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were enrolled.
Thirty-five patients were enrolled on the CDD schedule and seven on Schedule 2/1. MTDs were sunitinib 37.5 mg/day (CDD/RP2D) or 50 mg/day (Schedule 2/1) with pemetrexed 500 mg/m2. Dose-limiting toxicities included grade (G) 5 cerebral hemorrhage, G3 febrile neutropenia, and G3 anorexia. Common G3/4 drug-related non-hematologic adverse events (AEs) at the CDD MTD included fatigue, anorexia, and hand–foot syndrome. G3/4 hematologic AEs included lymphopenia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. No significant drug–drug interactions were identified. Five (24%) NSCLC patients had partial responses.
In patients with advanced solid malignancies, the MTD of sunitinib plus 500 mg/m2 pemetrexed was 37.5 mg/day (CDD schedule) or 50 mg/day (Schedule 2/1). The CDD schedule MTD was tolerable and demonstrated promising clinical benefit in NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC3286593  PMID: 21989766
Antiangiogenic; Pemetrexed; Phase I; Solid tumors; Sunitinib; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Lung cancer
14.  Phase I study of docetaxel plus S-1 combination chemotherapy for recurrent non-small cell lung cancer 
Oncology Letters  2010;2(1):167-170.
S-1 is a novel oral fluorouracil prodrug that plays a role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Docetaxel (DTX) is one of the standard agents for relapsed NSCLC. We performed a phase I study of DTX plus S-1 combination therapy as second-line treatment for NSCLC to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended dose (RD). Patients with recurrent NSCLC, aged 20–74 years with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0–1 and measurable lesions, were enrolled. The treatment consisted of four dose levels. The patients received DTX (40–60 mg/m2 intravenously on day 1) and S-1 (65–80 mg/m2 orally, daily on days 1–14) for each 21-day cycle. Three to six patients were treated at each dose level with the two drugs, with MTD defined as the dose level at which dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) occurred in 33% of the patients. A total of 17 patients were enrolled. At dose level 4 (DTX, 60 mg/m2; S-1, 80 mg/m2) 3 of 5 patients experienced DLT and this level was regarded as the MTD. Therefore, dose level 3 (DTX, 60 mg/m2; S-1, 65 mg/m2) was selected as the RD for subsequent studies. The DLTs were neutropenia (grade 4) and mucositis (grade 3). The response rate was 5.9% (1 of 17 patients achieved a partial response) and 14 of 17 patients achieved stable disease. This combination regimen showed a tolerable and manageable profile in recurrent NSCLC and therefore warrants further evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3412446  PMID: 22870147
docetaxel; S-1; phase I
15.  Sunitinib combined with pemetrexed and carboplatin in patients with advanced solid malignancies—results of a phase I dose-escalation study 
Investigational New Drugs  2013;31(6):1487-1498.
Objectives The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and overall safety of sunitinib plus pemetrexed and carboplatin was determined in patients with advanced solid malignancies. Methods In this phase I dose-escalation study, patients received oral sunitinib on a continuous daily dosing (CDD) schedule (37.5 mg/day) or Schedule 2/1 (2 weeks on treatment, 1 week off treatment; 37.5 or 50 mg/day). Pemetrexed (400–500 mg/m2 IV) and carboplatin (AUC = 5 mg·min/ml IV) were administered q3w. At the MTD for the chosen schedule, a cohort of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or mesothelioma was further evaluated. Results Twenty-one patients were enrolled on Schedule 2/1 (expansion cohort included) and 3 patients on the CDD schedule. The MTD on Schedule 2/1 was sunitinib 37.5 mg/day with pemetrexed 500 mg/m2 and carboplatin AUC = 5 mg·min/ml; MTD on the CDD schedule was not established. Dose-limiting toxicities included grade 3/4 neutropenia, grade 3 thrombocytopenia, and grade 3 hand–foot syndrome. The most common grade 3/4 drug-related non-hematologic adverse events at Schedule 2/1 MTD were fatigue/asthenia and diarrhea (both n = 4). Grade 3/4 hematologic abnormalities included neutropenia (83 %) and leukopenia (83 %). Pharmacokinetic data revealed no clinically significant drug–drug interactions. Best response at the Schedule 2/1 MTD was stable disease ≥8 weeks in 3/5 evaluable patients (60 %). Conclusions With this combination, in patients with advanced solid malignancies, sunitinib MTD on Schedule 2/1 was 37.5 mg/day. Sunitinib plus pemetrexed and carboplatin were tolerable at the MTD, although sunitinib dose delays and reductions were often required due to myelosuppression.
PMCID: PMC3825543  PMID: 23963796
Solid tumors; Non-small cell lung cancer; Sunitinib; Pemetrexed; Carboplatin
16.  A Prospective Phase I/II Study: Combination Chemotherapy with Docetaxel and Pemetrexed as Second-Line Treatment in Patients with Stage IIIB/IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Case Reports in Oncology  2014;7(2):435-443.
Two standard single-agent chemotherapy treatments (docetaxel and pemetrexed) were combined in this trial and administered as second-line treatment in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of combining docetaxel with pemetrexed.
Six patients were enrolled between August 2007 and March 2009 with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC. The dose-escalation model included a pemetrexed infusion on day 1 of 200–300 mg/m2 followed by infusion of docetaxel on days 1, 8 and 15 at doses from 20 to 30 mg/m2. Primary study endpoints included efficacy and safety variables, also progression-free, overall and 1-year survival and time to progression.
The study was abandoned due to adverse effects defined in the protocol. The major toxicities were all of grade 3 and included fatigue, stomatitis/mucositis, diarrhea and in one case, an episode of febrile neutropenia. Two patients died during the study, but not as a direct result of the treatment.
We recommend that docetaxel or pemetrexed monotherapies should continue to be considered the standard second-line chemotherapy treatment against NSCLC. The results of this study warrant no further investigation into this particular combination treatment due to the severe toxicity effects encountered.
PMCID: PMC4130819  PMID: 25126073
Pemetrexed; Docetaxel; Non-small cell lung cancer; Second-line chemotherapy; Combination chemotherapy
17.  Phase I study of continuous MKC-1 in patients with advanced or metastatic solid malignancies using the modified Time-to-Event Continual Reassessment Method (TITE-CRM) dose escalation design 
Investigational New Drugs  2011;30(3):1039-1045.
MKC-1 is an oral cell-cycle inhibitor with broad antitumor activity in preclinical models. Clinical studies demonstrated modest antitumor activity using intermittent dosing schedule, however additional preclinical data suggested continuous dosing could be efficacious with additional effects against the mTor/AKT pathway. The primary objectives were to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and response of continuous MKC-1. Secondary objectives included characterizing the dose limiting toxicities (DLTs) and pharmacokinetics (PK).
Patients with solid malignancies were eligible, if they had measurable disease, ECOG PS ≤1, and adequate organ function. Exclusions included brain metastases and inability to receive oral drug. MKC-1 was dosed twice daily, continuously in 28-day cycles. Other medications were eliminated if there were possible drug interactions. Doses were assigned using a TITE-CRM algorithm following enrollment of the first 3 pts. Disease response was assessed every 8 weeks
Between 5/08-9/09, 24 patients enrolled (15 M/9 F, median 58 years, range 44-77). Patients 1-3 received 120 mg/d of MKC-1; patients 4-24 were dosed per the TITE-CRM algorithm: 150 mg [n=1], 180 [2], 200 [1], 230 [1], 260 [5], 290 [6], 320 [5]. The median time on drug was 8 weeks (range 4-28). The only DLT occurred at 320 mg (grade 3 fatigue). Stable disease occurred at 150 mg/d (28 weeks; RCC) and 320 mg/d (16 weeks; breast, parotid). Escalation halted at 320 mg/d. Day 28 pharmacokinetics indicated absorption and active metabolites.
Continuous MKC-1 was well-tolerated; there were no RECIST responses, although clinical benefit occurred in 3/24 pts. Dose escalation stopped at 320 mg/d, and this is the MTD as defined by the CRM dose escalation algorithm; this cumulative dose/cycle exceeds that determined from intermittent dosing studies. A TITE-CRM allowed for rapid dose escalation and was able to account for late toxicities with continuous dosing via a modified algorithm.
PMCID: PMC3139017  PMID: 21225315
MKC-1; TITE-CRM; Solid malignancy; Novel dose escalation designs
18.  Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of erlotinib (OSI-774) in combination with docetaxel in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SSCHN) 
Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology  2010;67(3):10.1007/s00280-010-1332-y.
This phase I study determined the maximal-tolerated dose, dose-limiting toxicities, pharmacokinetics, and recommended dose of erlotinib with docetaxel.
Patients and methods
Twenty-eight patients with head and neck cancer were enrolled. Patients were orally given erlotinib (50 mg) daily plus 35 mg/m2 of docetaxel intravenously weekly × 3 every 4 weeks. Dose escalation of erlotinib was in 50-mg increments until toxicity. Pharmacokinetics were studied with LC–MS/MS, standard, and population pharmacokinetic methods.
Ninety-five courses were successfully given (median 3, range 1–6). The most frequent side effects were diarrhea, fatigue, skin rash, anemia, and hypoalbuminemia. Dose de-escalation for both erlotinib and docetaxel was due to skin rash, neutropenia and/or severe infection with docetaxel to 25 mg/m2 and erlotinib to starting dose of 50 mg and re-escalation of docetaxel to 35 mg/m2. Responses were observed in 4/26 evaluable patients (100 mg erlotinib). In 24 patients, the mean Cmax and AUC erlotinib values increased with dose and following cumulative dosing (days 7 and 8 vs. day1, p < 0.05). The CL/F (~7 L/h), V/F (~140 L), and t1/2 (~20 h) for erlotinib were similar to the reported. The mean AUC ratio of metabolite OSI-420 to erlotinib following repetitive dosing at 100 mg (+ or − docetaxel) showed a ~50% increase (p < 0.02), possibly suggesting self-enzyme induction. Population pharmacokinetic studies showed no significant covariate affecting erlotinib pharmacokinetics.
The combination of erlotinib and docetaxel was associated with significant toxicity, which limited the amount of administered erlotinib. Dosing for phase II trials was docetaxel 35 mg/m2 and erlotinib 50 mg. The reason for excessive toxicity is not clear, but not due to change in pharmacokinetics.
PMCID: PMC3828747  PMID: 20490801
Erlotinib; Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; OSI-774; Phase I
19.  Concurrent conventionally factionated radiotherapy and weekly docetaxel in the treatment of stage IIIb non-small-cell lung carcinoma 
British Journal of Cancer  1999;80(11):1792-1796.
Docetaxel has shown remarkable radiosensitizing in vitro properties. In a previous phase I/II dose escalation study in non- small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) we observed a high response rate after concomitant boost radiotherapy and weekly docetaxel. The maximum tolerated dose was 30 mg m−2 week−1. In the present phase II study we evaluated whether weekly docetaxel and conventionally fractionated radiotherapy could be better tolerated and equally effective in the treatment of locally advanced NSCLC. Thirty-five patients with T3, T4/N2, T3/M0-staged disease were recruited. Docetaxel (30 mg m−2) was given as a 30 min infusion once a week. Asthenia and radiation-induced oesophagitis were the main side-effects of the regimen enforcing 2-week treatment delay in 6/35 (17%) patients and minor delay (3–7 days) in another 11/35 (31%) patients. Neutrophil, platelet and haemoglobin toxicity was minimal, but pronounced lymphocytopenia was observed. Complete response (CR) of the chest disease was observed in 12/35 (34%) patients and partial response in 16/35 (46%). Although not statistically significant (P = 0.19), a higher CR rate (8/18; 44%) was observed in patients who accomplished their therapy within the scheduled treatment time (44–47 days) as compared to patients that interrupted their treatment for several days due to treatment-related toxicity (CR 4/17; 23%). The overall survival and the local progression-free survival at 1 year was 48% and 60% respectively. We conclude that docetaxel combination with radiotherapy is a promising approach for the management of locally advanced NSCLC that results in high CR rate. Further trials with docetaxel-based radiochemotherapy should integrate accelerated radiotherapy together with cytoprotection. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363119  PMID: 10468298
docetaxel; radiotherapy; lung cancer
20.  Phase I Study of Induction Chemotherapy and Concomitant Chemoradiotherapy with Irinotecan, Carboplatin, and Paclitaxel for Stage III Non-small Cell Lung Cancer 
The aim of this study was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), dose limiting toxicities (DLTs), and determine the phase II dose for the combination of irinotecan-carboplatin-paclitaxel given as induction chemotherapy and with concomitant chest radiotherapy for patients with Stage III non-small cell lung cancer.
Patients with Cancer and Leukemia Group B performance status of 0 to 2, stage IIIA and IIIB NSCLC patients with resectable or unresectable disease were treated with induction chemotherapy (irinotecan 100 mg/m2, carboplatin AUC 5, and paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 days 1 and 22) followed by concomitant chemotherapy (irinotecan, carboplatin, and paclitaxel) and chest radiotherapy (66 Gy for unresectable and 50 Gy for resectable disease) beginning on week 7. The primary objective was to escalate the dose of irinotecan during chemoradiation in sequential cohorts to determine the DLT and MTD of the regimen.
Thirty-eight patients were enrolled (median age 63 years, 57% male, 41% performance status 0, 30% resectable). Induction chemotherapy was tolerable and active (response rate 26%; stable disease 60%). Eight patients did not receive concurrent chemoradiotherapy because of progressive disease (5), death (1), hypersensitivity reaction to paclitaxel (1), and withdrawal of consent (1). Twenty-nine patients received concurrent chemoradiotherapy. The concomitant administration of chest radiotherapy with weekly irinotecan, carboplatin, and paclitaxel was not feasible at the first, second, and third dose levels. DLT was failure to achieve recovery to ≤ grade 1 absolute neutrophil count by the day of scheduled chemotherapy administration. Dose de-escalation to irinotecan 30 mg/m2, paclitaxel 40 mg/m2 (with omission of carboplatin) delivered on weeks 2, 3, 5, and 6 of radiotherapy was the MTD. After induction chemotherapy, partial responses, stable disease, and progressive disease was observed in 26%, 60%, and 14% of patients, respectively. After chemoradiotherapy, partial responses were attained in 16 (55%) patients, whereas 12 patients (41%) attained disease stabilization. Median overall survival was 21 months for the entire cohort. Resectable patients had a median survival of 24 months, whereas unresectable patients had a median survival of 19 months. Differences in overall and progression-free survival rates between resectable and unresectable patients was not statistically significant (p = 0.52 and p = 0.90, respectively).
Carboplatin, paclitaxel, and irinotecan with concurrent chemoradiotherapy was poorly tolerated as a result of neutropenia. Although dose de-escalation was required for delivery of the regimen, the response rates and survival outcomes were comparable to other similar regimens.
PMCID: PMC3742080  PMID: 18166842
Non-small cell lung cancer; Irinotecan; Radiation therapy; Multimodality therapy
21.  A Phase I Clinical Study of High-Dose Ketoconazole Plus Weekly Docetaxel in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer 
The Journal of urology  2010;183(6):2219-2226.
High-dose ketoconazole and docetaxel have shown activity as single agents against castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The goal of this phase I study was to determine the maximum tolerated doses, side effects, and pharmacokinetic interaction of coadministered docetaxel and ketoconazole.
Experimental Design
Patients with metastatic CRPC received weekly docetaxel for 3 of every 4 weeks, plus daily ketoconazole. Pharmacokinetic studies were performed on day 1 (docetaxel alone) and day 16 (after ketoconazole).
The study enrolled 42 patients at 9 different dose levels. The combination regimens investigated included docetaxel weekly for three weeks out of four escalating from 5 to 43 mg/m2, with starting doses of ketoconazole of 600, 800, or 1200 mg/day. Declines in prostate-specific antigen of ≥ 50% were seen in 62% of patients. Of 25 patients with soft tissue disease, 7 (28%) had partial response. Median overall survival was 22.8 months, and was significantly greater in docetaxel-naïve patients than in patients pretreated with docetaxel (36.8 vs. 10.3 months; P = 0.0001). The most frequently observed adverse events were anemia, edema, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, sensory neuropathy, and elevated liver function tests. The fractional change in docetaxel clearance correlated significantly with ketoconazole exposure (P < 0.01). Concomitant ketoconazole increased docetaxel exposure 2.6-fold with 1200 mg/day, 1.6-fold with 800 mg/day, and 1.3- to 1.5-fold with 600 mg/day.
Results suggest that the combination of weekly docetaxel and ketoconazole has significant antitumor activity in CRPC with manageable toxicities. The extremely long survival in the docetaxel-naïve cohort (36.8 months) warrants additional larger trials of docetaxel with ketoconazole or possibly CYP17A1 inhibitors such as abiraterone.
PMCID: PMC3474294  PMID: 20399458
castration-resistant prostate cancer; docetaxel; ketoconazole; drug-drug interaction; CYP3A4
22.  Phase I–II study of docetaxel and ifosfamide combination in patients with anthracycline pretreated advanced breast cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2003;88(8):1168-1174.
Given the established individual activity of docetaxel and ifosfamide in anthracycline pretreated advanced breast cancer, the present phase I–II study aimed to define the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), the dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), and activity of the docetaxel–ifosfamide combination in this setting. Cohorts of three to six patients with histologically confirmed metastatic breast cancer after prior anthracycline-based chemotherapy were treated at successive dose levels (DLs) with escalated doses of docetaxel 70–100 mg m−2 over 1 h on day 1 followed by ifosfamide 5–6 g m−2 divided over days 1 and 2 (2.5–3.0 g m−2 day−1 over 1 h), and recycled every 21 days. G-CSF was added once dose-limiting neutropenia was encountered at a certain DL and planned to be incorporated prophylactically in subsequent higher DLs. In total, 56 patients with a median age of 54.5 (range, 32–72) years and performance status (WHO) of 1 (range, 0–2) were treated at five DLs as follows: 21 in phase I DLs (DL1: 3, DL2: 6, DL3: 3, DL4: 6, and DL5: 3) and the remaining 35 were treated at DL4 (total of 41 patients at DL4), which was defined as the level for phase II testing. All patients were assessable for toxicity and 53 for response. Dose-limiting toxicity (with the addition of G-CSF after DL2) was reached at DL5 with two out of three initial patients developing febrile neutropenia (FN). Clinical response rates, on an intention-to-treat basis, in phase II were: 53.6% (95% CI, 38.3–68.9%); three complete remissions, 19 partial remissions, seven stable disease, and 12 progressive disease. The median response duration was 7 months (3–24 months), median time to progression 6.5 month (0.1–26 month), and median overall survival 13 months (0.1–33 months). Grade 3/4 toxicities included time to progression neutropenia in 78% of patients–with 63% developing grade 4 neutropenia (⩽7 days) and in 12% of these FN, while no grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia was observed. Other toxicities included peripheral neuropathy grade 2 only in 12%, grade 1/2 reversible CNS toxicity in 17%, no renal toxicity, grade 2 myalgias in 10%, grade 3 diarrhoea in 10%, skin/nail toxicity in 17%, and grade 2 fluid retention in 2% of patients. One patient in the study treated at phase II died as a result of acute liver failure after the first cycle. In conclusion, the present phase I–II study determined the feasibility of the docetaxel–ifosfamide combination, defined the MTD and demonstrated the encouraging activity of the regimen in phase II, thus warranting further randomised phase III comparisons to single-agent docetaxel or combinations of the latter with other active agents.
PMCID: PMC2747562  PMID: 12698179
docetaxel; ifosfamide; breast cancer; phase I study
23.  A multicenter phase 1 study of PX-866 in combination with docetaxel in patients with advanced solid tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;109(5):1085-1092.
This phase I, dose-finding study determined the safety, maximum tolerated dose (MTD)/recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D), pharmacokinetics, and antitumour activity of PX-866, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, combined with docetaxel in patients with incurable solid tumours.
PX-866 was administered at escalating doses (4–8 mg daily) with docetaxel 75 mg m−2 intravenously every 21 days. Archived tumour tissue was assessed for potential predictive biomarkers.
Forty-three patients were enrolled. Most adverse events (AEs) were grade 1 or 2. The most frequent study drug-related AE was diarrhoea (76.7%), with gastrointestinal disorders occurring in 79.1% (docetaxel-related) and 83.7% (PX-866-related). No dose-limiting toxicities were observed. The RP2D was 8 mg, the same as the single-agent MTD. Co-administration of PX-866 and docetaxel did not affect either drug's PKs. Best responses in 35 evaluable patients were: 2 partial responses (6%), 22 stable disease (63%), and 11 disease progression (31%). Eleven patients remained on study for >180 days, including 8 who maintained disease control on single-agent PX-866. Overall median progression-free survival (PFS) was 73.5 days (range: 1–569). A non-significant association between longer PFS for PIK3CA-MUT/KRAS-WT vs PIK3CA-WT/KRAS-WT was observed.
Treatment with PX-866 and docetaxel was well tolerated, without evidence of overlapping/cumulative toxicity. Further investigation with this combination is justified.
PMCID: PMC3778312  PMID: 23942080
PIK3CA; PI3K; phase 1; docetaxel; combination therapy
24.  Adenovirus-mediated wild-type p53 gene transfer in combination with bronchial arterial infusion for treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, one year follow-up 
Objective: In the present study, we have examined the safety and efficacy of recombinant adenovirus encoding human p53 tumor suppressor gene (rAd-p53) injection in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the combination with the therapy of bronchial arterial infusion (BAI). Methods: A total of 58 patients with advanced NSCLC were enrolled in a non-randomized, two-armed clinical trial. Of which, 19 received a combination treatment of BAI and rAd-p53 (the combo group), while the remaining 39 were treated with only BAI (the control group). Patients were followed up for 12 months, with safety and local response evaluated by the National Cancer Institute’s Common Toxicity Criteria and response evaluation criteria in solid tumor (RECIST), respectively. Time to progression (TTP) and survival rates were also analyzed by Kaplan-Meier method. Results: In the combo group, 19 patients received a total of 49 injections of rAd-p53 and 46 times of BAI, respectively, while 39 patients in the control group received a total of 113 times of BAI. The combination treatment was found to have less adverse events such as anorexia, nausea and emesis, pain, and leucopenia (P<0.05) but more arthralgia, fever, influenza-like symptom, and myalgia (P<0.05), compared with the control group. The overall response rates (complete response (CR)+partial response (PR)) were 47.3% and 38.4% for the combo group and the control group, respectively (P>0.05). Patients in the combo group had a longer TTP than those in the control group (a median 7.75 vs 5.5 months, P=0.018). However, the combination treatment did not lead to better survival, with survival rates at 3, 6, and 12 months in the combo group being 94.74%, 89.47%, and 52.63%, respectively, compared with 92.31%, 69.23%, and 38.83% in the control group (P=0.224). Conclusion: Our results show that the combination of rAd-p53 and BAI was well tolerated in patients with NSCLC and may have improved the quality of life and delayed the disease progression. A further study to better determine the efficacy of this combination therapy is warranted.
PMCID: PMC2676412  PMID: 19434759
RAd-p53 gene therapy; Clinical trial; Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC); Bronchial arterial infusion (BAI)
25.  Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer: A Randomized, Controlled, Biomarker Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95310.
Endothelial progenitor cells (CEPs) and circulating endothelial cells (CECs) are potential biomarkers of response to anti-angiogenic treatment regimens. In the current study, we investigated the effect of docetaxel and sunitinib on CEP/CEC kinetics and clinical response in castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients.
Patients and methods
Chemonaive patients with CRPC were enrolled in this study to receive either sunitinib (37.5 mg/d), in combination with docetaxel (75 mg/m2) or docetaxel alone. CEP and CEC kinetics were analyzed for every cycle. The primary objective was to compare CEP/CEC pharmacodynamics between both treatment arms. We also investigated if CEC/CEP spikes, induced by MTD docetaxel, are suppressed by sunitinib in patients treated with docetaxel/sunitinib relative to docetaxel monotherapy.
A total of 27 patients were enrolled. We observed a significant increase of CEP/CEC (total/viable) counts over time within each cycle (coefficients 0.29233, 0.22092 and 0.26089, respectively; p<0.001). However, no differences between the treatment groups, in terms of CEP and CEC kinetics, were detected. In the docetaxel monotherapy arm 4 (30%) patients responded to therapy with a 50% PSA decline, while 9 (64%) patients showed a PSA decline in the combination group (n.s.). The median PFS in the docetaxel monotherapy group was 3.1 months (2.6–3.6 months, 95% CI) and 6.2 months (4.9–7.4 months, 95% CI; p = 0.062) in the combination arm. Sunitinib/docetaxel was reasonably well tolerated and toxicity manageable.
In summary, no significant differences in CEC and CEP kinetics between the treatment arms were observed, although a highly significant increase of CEPs/CECs within each cycle over time was detected. These results mirror the challenge we have to face when employing anti-angiogenic strategies in CRPC. Additional preclinical research is needed to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. However, docetaxel/sunitinib therapy resulted in a better response in terms of PSA decline and a trend towards improved PFS.
Trial Registery EudraCT 2007-003705-27
PMCID: PMC3995874  PMID: 24755958

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