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1.  Phase 1 study of MLN8054, a selective inhibitor of Aurora A kinase in patients with advanced solid tumors 
Purpose
Aurora A kinase is critical in assembly and function of the mitotic spindle. It is overexpressed in various tumor types and implicated in oncogenesis and tumor progression. This trial evaluated the dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of MLN8054, a selective small-molecule inhibitor of Aurora A kinase.
Methods
In this first-in-human, dose-escalation study, MLN8054 was given orally for 7, 14, or 21 days followed by a 14-day treatment-free period. Escalating cohorts of 3–6 patients with advanced solid tumors were treated until DLT was seen in ≥2 patients in a cohort. Serial blood samples were collected for pharmacokinetics and skin biopsies were collected for pharmacodynamics.
Results
Sixty-one patients received 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40 mg once daily for 7 days; 25, 35, 45 or 55 mg/day in four divided doses (QID) for 7 days; or 55, 60, 70 or 80 mg/day plus methylphenidate or modafinil with daytime doses (QID/M) for 7–21 days. DLTs of reversible grade 3 benzodiazepine-like effects defined the estimated MTD of 60 mg QID/M for 14 days. MLN8054 was absorbed rapidly, exposure was dose-proportional, and terminal half-life was 30-40 hours. Three patients had stable disease for >6 cycles.
Conclusions
MLN8054 dosing for up to 14 days of a 28-day cycle was feasible. Reversible somnolence was dose limiting and prevented achievement of plasma concentrations predicted necessary for target modulation. A recommended dose for investigation in phase 2 trials was not established. A second-generation Aurora A kinase inhibitor is in development.
doi:10.1007/s00280-010-1377-y
PMCID: PMC3026871  PMID: 20607239
MLN8054; Aurora A kinase; dose-limiting toxicity; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics
3.  Safety biomarkers and the clinical development of oncology therapeutics: Considerations for cardiovascular safety and risk management 
The AAPS Journal  2006;8(1):E89-E94.
During the clinical development of oncology therapeutics, new safety biomarkers are being employed with broad applications and implications for risk management and regulatory approval. Clinical laboratory results, used as safety biomarkers, can influence decision making at many levels during the clinical development and regulatory review of investigational cancer therapies, including (1) initial eligibility for protocol therapy; (2) analyses used to estimate and characterize the safety profile; and (3) treatment delivery, based on specific rules to modify or discontinue protocol treatment. With the increasing applications of safety biomarkers in clinical studies, consideration must be given to possible unintended consequences, including (1) restricted access to promising treatments; (2) delays in study completion; and (3) limitations to dose delivery, escalation, and determination of the maximal tolerated dose, the recommended phase 2 dose, and the optimal biologic dose selected for registration studies. This review will compare and contrast 2 biomarkers for cardiac safety that are employed in an increasing number of clinical programs designed for investigational oncology therapeutics: (1) assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction by either echocardiography or multigated acquisition scan; and (2) electrophysiological measurement of QT/QTc duration, assessed by electrocardiogram, for predicting risk of a potentially fatal arrhythmia called torsades de pointes. While these and other new safety biomarkers have major value in the development of oncology therapeutics, their applications require careful consideration to avoid unintended consequences that could negatively affect (1) the care of patients with advanced malignancy and (2) the advancement of promising new agents.
doi:10.1208/aapsj080110
PMCID: PMC2751426  PMID: 16584137
Safety biomarkers; oncology therapeutics; risk management; cardiotoxicity

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