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1.  Sunitinib combined with pemetrexed and carboplatin in patients with advanced solid malignancies—results of a phase I dose-escalation study 
Investigational New Drugs  2013;31:1487-1498.
Summary
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.
doi:10.1007/s10637-013-0010-4
PMCID: PMC3825543  PMID: 23963796
Solid tumors; Non-small cell lung cancer; Sunitinib; Pemetrexed; Carboplatin
2.  Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Neuroendocrine tumors account for approximately 20% of lung cancers; most (≈15%) are small cell lung cancer (SCLC). These NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for SCLC focus on extensive-stage SCLC because it occurs more frequently than limited-stage disease. SCLC is highly sensitive to initial therapy; however, most patients eventually die of recurrent disease. In patients with extensive-stage disease, chemotherapy alone can palliate symptoms and prolong survival in most patients; however, long-term survival is rare. Most cases of SCLC are attributable to cigarette smoking; therefore, smoking cessation should be strongly promoted.
PMCID: PMC3715060  PMID: 23307984
3.  Safety and Activity of Anti–PD-L1 Antibody in Patients with Advanced Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;366(26):2455-2465.
BACKGROUND
Programmed death 1 (PD-1) protein, a T-cell coinhibitory receptor, and one of its ligands, PD-L1, play a pivotal role in the ability of tumor cells to evade the host’s immune system. Blockade of interactions between PD-1 and PD-L1 enhances immune function in vitro and mediates antitumor activity in preclinical models.
METHODS
In this multicenter phase 1 trial, we administered intravenous anti–PD-L1 antibody (at escalating doses ranging from 0.3 to 10 mg per kilogram of body weight) to patients with selected advanced cancers. Anti–PD-L1 antibody was administered every 14 days in 6-week cycles for up to 16 cycles or until the patient had a complete response or confirmed disease progression.
RESULTS
As of February 24, 2012, a total of 207 patients — 75 with non–small-cell lung cancer, 55 with melanoma, 18 with colorectal cancer, 17 with renal-cell cancer, 17 with ovarian cancer, 14 with pancreatic cancer, 7 with gastric cancer, and 4 with breast cancer — had received anti–PD-L1 antibody. The median duration of therapy was 12 weeks (range, 2 to 111). Grade 3 or 4 toxic effects that investigators considered to be related to treatment occurred in 9% of patients. Among patients with a response that could be evaluated, an objective response (a complete or partial response) was observed in 9 of 52 patients with melanoma, 2 of 17 with renal-cell cancer, 5 of 49 with non–small-cell lung cancer, and 1 of 17 with ovarian cancer. Responses lasted for 1 year or more in 8 of 16 patients with at least 1 year of follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS
Antibody-mediated blockade of PD-L1 induced durable tumor regression (objective response rate of 6 to 17%) and prolonged stabilization of disease (rates of 12 to 41% at 24 weeks) in patients with advanced cancers, including non–small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, and renal-cell cancer. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00729664.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1200694
PMCID: PMC3563263  PMID: 22658128
4.  Phase I Pharmacologic and Biologic Study of Ramucirumab (IMC-1121B), a Fully Human Immunoglobulin G1 Monoclonal Antibody Targeting the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2010;28(5):780-787.
Purpose
To evaluate the safety, maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics (PKs), pharmacodynamics, and preliminary anticancer activity of ramucirumab (IMC-1121B), a fully human immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2.
Patients and Methods
Patients with advanced solid malignancies were treated once weekly with escalating doses of ramucirumab. Blood was sampled for PK studies throughout treatment. The effects of ramucirumab on circulating vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), soluble VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2, tumor perfusion, and vascularity using dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging were assessed.
Results
Thirty-seven patients were treated with 2 to 16 mg/kg of ramucirumab. After one patient each developed dose-limiting hypertension and deep venous thrombosis at 16 mg/kg, the next lower dose (13 mg/kg) was considered the MTD. Nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, and proteinuria were also noted. Four (15%) of 27 patients with measurable disease had a partial response (PR), and 11 (30%) of 37 patients had either a PR or stable disease lasting at least 6 months. PKs were characterized by dose-dependent elimination and nonlinear exposure consistent with saturable clearance. Mean trough concentrations exceeded biologically relevant target levels throughout treatment at all dose levels. Serum VEGF-A increased 1.5 to 3.5 times above pretreatment values and remained in this range throughout treatment at all dose levels. Tumor perfusion and vascularity decreased in 69% of evaluable patients.
Conclusion
Objective antitumor activity and antiangiogenic effects were observed over a wide range of dose levels, suggesting that ramucirumab may have a favorable therapeutic index in treating malignancies amenable to VEGFR-2 inhibition.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2009.23.7537
PMCID: PMC2834394  PMID: 20048182
5.  A phase I study of bortezomib, etoposide and carboplatin in patients with advanced solid tumors refractory to standard therapy 
Investigational new drugs  2008;27(1):53-62.
Summary
Purpose
To evaluate the toxicity, pharmacological, and biological properties of the combination of bortezomib, etoposide, and carboplatin in adults with advanced solid malignancies.
Patients and methods
Patients received escalating doses of bortezomib, etoposide, and carboplatin every 21 days. Surrogate markers of angiogenesis were evaluated.
Results
Twenty-four patients received 64 courses of therapy. The most common treatment-related adverse events were myelosuppression. Dose-limiting grade 3 and 4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia were observed when bortezomib was given on days 1, 4, 8, 11. With revised dosing, the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of bortezomib 0.75 mg/m2 (days 1, 8), etoposide 75 mg/m2 (days 1–3), and carboplatin AUC 5 (day 1) was well tolerated, and are the recommended doses for further studies with this combination. No objective responses were observed, however stable disease was noted for greater or equal to four cycles in nine highly refractory patients.
doi:10.1007/s10637-008-9154-z
PMCID: PMC2829404  PMID: 18618082
Bortezomib; Combination chemotherapy; Phase I clinical trial; Proteasome inhibitor
6.  A phase I safety, pharmacological, and biological study of the farnesyl protein transferase inhibitor, lonafarnib (SCH 663366), in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine in patients with advanced solid tumors 
Purpose
This phase I study was conducted to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacological properties and biological activity of the combination of the lonafarnib, a farnesylproteintransferase (FTPase) inhibitor, with gemcitabine and cisplatin in patients with advanced solid malignancies.
Experimental design
This was a single institution study to determine the maximal tolerated dose (MTD) of escalating lonafarnib (75–125 mg po BID) with gemcitabine (750–1,000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, 15) and fixed cisplatin (75 mg/m2 day 1) every 28 days. Due to dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) of neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in initial patients, these patients were considered “heavily pretreated” and the protocol was amended to limit prior therapy and re-escalate lonafarnib in “less heavily pre-treated patients” on 28-day and 21-day schedules. Cycle 1 and 2 pharmacokinetics (PK), and farnesylation of the HDJ2 chaperone protein and FPTase activity were analyzed.
Results
Twenty-two patients received 53 courses of therapy. Nausea, vomiting, and fatigue were frequent in all patients. Severe toxicities were observed in 91% of patients: neutropenia (41%), nausea (36%), thrombocytopenia (32%), anemia (23%) and vomiting (23%). Nine patients withdrew from the study due to toxicity. DLTs of neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and fatigue limited dose-escalation on the 28-day schedule. The MTD was established as lonafarnib 75 mg BID, gemcitabine 750 mg/m2 days 1, 8, 15, and cisplatin 75 mg/m2 in heavily pre-treated patients. The MTD in the less heavily pre-treated patients could not be established on the 28-day schedule as DLTs were observed at the lowest dose level, and dose escalation was not completed on the 21-day schedule due to early study termination by the Sponsor. No PK interactions were observed. FTPase inhibition was not observed at the MTD, however HDJ-2 gel shift was observed in one patient at the 100 mg BID lonafarnib dose. Anti-cancer activity was observed: four patients had stable disease lasting >2 cycles, one subject had a complete response, and another had a partial response, both with metastatic breast cancer.
Conclusion
Lonafarnib 75 mg BID, gemcitabine 750 mg/m2 days 1, 8, 15, and cisplatin 75 mg/m2 day 1 on a 28-day schedule was established as the MTD. Lonafarnib did not demonstrate FTPase inhibition at these doses. Despite the observed efficacy, substantial toxicity and questionable contribution of anti-tumor activity of lonafarnib to gemcitabine and cisplatin limits further exploration of this combination.
doi:10.1007/s00280-007-0646-x
PMCID: PMC2813768  PMID: 18058098
Lonafarnib; SCH66336; Cisplatin; Gemcitabine; Farnesyltransferase; Phase I; Pharmacokinetics
7.  A phase I pharmacological and biological study of PI-88 and docetaxel in patients with advanced malignancies 
Purpose
This study evaluated the safety, toxicity, pharmacological properties and biological activity of PI-88, a heparanase endoglycosidase enzyme inhibitor, with fixed weekly docetaxel in patients with advanced solid malignancies.
Experimental design
This was a phase I study to determine the maximal-tolerated dose of escalating doses of PI-88 administered subcutaneously for 4 days per week, along with docetaxel 30 mg/m2 given on days 1, 8, 15 of a 28-day schedule.
Results
Sixteen patients received a total of 42 courses of therapy. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed despite escalation to the highest planned dose level of PI-88 (250 mg/day). Frequent minor toxicities included fatigue (38%), dysgeusia (28.5%), thrombocytopenia (12%), diarrhea (14%), nausea (12%), and emesis (10%) in the 42 courses. No significant bleeding complications were observed. One patient developed a positive anti-heparin antibody test/serotonin releasing assay with positive anti-platelet factor 4/PI-88 antibodies and grade 1 thrombocytopenia in cycle 5, and was withdrawn from the study without any sequelae. PI-88 plasma concentrations (mirrored by APTT) and urinary elimination were linear and dose-proportional. Docetaxel did not alter the pharmacokinetic (PK) profile of PI-88, nor did PI-88 affect docetaxel PK. No significant relationship was determined between plasma or urine FGF-2, or plasma VEGF levels and PI-88 dose/response. Although no objective responses were observed; 9 of the 15 evaluable patients had stable disease for greater than two cycles of therapy.
Conclusion
PI-88 administered at 250 mg/day for 4 days each week for 3 weeks with docetaxel 30 mg/m2 on days 1, 8 and 15, every 28 days, was determined to be the recommended dose level for phase II evaluation. This combination was well tolerated without severe toxicities or PK interactions.
doi:10.1007/s00280-008-0712-z
PMCID: PMC2813677  PMID: 18320191
PI-88; Docetaxel; Heparanase inhibitor; Angiogenesis; Clinical trial; Advanced malignancies
8.  Phase I Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Study of the Oral, Small-Molecule Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinase 1/2 Inhibitor AZD6244 (ARRY-142886) in Patients With Advanced Cancers 
Purpose
To assess the tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PKs), and pharmacodynamics (PDs) of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) 1/2 inhibitor AZD6244 (ARRY-142886) in patients with advanced cancer.
Patients and Methods
In part A, patients received escalating doses to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD). In both parts, blood samples were collected to assess PK and PD parameters. In part B, patients were stratified by cancer type (melanoma v other) and randomly assigned to receive the MTD or 50% MTD. Biopsies were collected to determine inhibition of ERK phosphorylation, Ki-67 expression, and BRAF, KRAS, and NRAS mutations.
Results
Fifty-seven patients were enrolled. MTD in part A was 200 mg bid, but this dose was discontinued in part B because of toxicity. The 50% MTD (100 mg bid) was well tolerated. Rash was the most frequent and dose-limiting toxicity. Most other adverse events were grade 1 or 2. The PKs were less than dose proportional, with a median half-life of approximately 8 hours and inhibition of ERK phosphorylation in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells at all dose levels. Paired tumor biopsies demonstrated reduced ERK phosphorylation (geometric mean, 79%). Five of 20 patients demonstrated ≥ 50% inhibition of Ki-67 expression, and RAF or RAS mutations were detected in 10 of 26 assessable tumor samples. Nine patients had stable disease (SD) for ≥ 5 months, including two patients with SD for 19 (thyroid cancer) and 22 (uveal melanoma plus renal cancer) 28-day cycles.
Conclusion
AZD6244 was well tolerated with target inhibition demonstrated at the recommended phase II dose. PK analyses supported twice-daily dosing. Prolonged SD was seen in a variety of advanced cancers. Phase II studies are ongoing.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2007.14.4956
PMCID: PMC2718422  PMID: 18390968

Results 1-8 (8)