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1.  A Phase I Study of Weekly Topotecan in Combination with Pemetrexed in Patients with Advanced Malignancies 
The Oncologist  2010;15(9):954-960.
The safety, tolerability, preliminary antitumor activity, and pharmacokinetic interaction of weekly topotecan plus pemetrexed in patients with advanced solid tumors were investigated. The combination was well tolerated and active.
This phase I study evaluated the safety, tolerability, preliminary antitumor activity, and pharmacokinetic interaction of weekly topotecan (days 1 and 8) in combination with pemetrexed (day 1 only) in patients with advanced solid tumors.
Patients received topotecan (3.0–4.0 mg/m2 i.v. days 1 and 8) and pemetrexed (375–500 mg/m2 i.v. day 1) over 21-day cycles. Patients were accrued across five different dose levels and were observed for safety, tolerability, and preliminary activity.
Twenty-six patients received 120 cycles of pemetrexed and topotecan, including five patients who received 8, 8, 10, 12, and 17 cycles without dose reductions, confirming a lack of cumulative myelosuppression. Four patients received topotecan (4.0 mg/m2 i.v.) and pemetrexed (500 mg/m2 i.v.), but experienced two dose-limiting toxicities (febrile neutropenia, grade 4 thrombocytopenia). As a result, the topotecan (3.5 mg/m2 i.v.) and pemetrexed (500 mg/m2 i.v.) group was expanded to 12 patients. The only grade 3 or 4 nonhematologic toxicity was one episode of grade 3 fatigue; no grade 3 or 4 nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, mucositis, or rash was reported. One non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient (12 months) and one soft tissue sarcoma patient (6 months) achieved a partial response.
Weekly topotecan plus every-3-week pemetrexed was well tolerated and active. Full doses of topotecan plus pemetrexed caused brief reversible myelosuppression with minimal dose delays/reductions; no grade 3 or 4 nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, mucositis, or rash was reported. All six NSCLC patients at the recommended phase II dose had at least stable disease as a best response, including one partial response lasting 12 months. There was no evidence of an effect of pemetrexed on topotecan pharmacokinetics. Collectively, these data suggest that further phase II exploration of weekly topotecan plus every-3-week pemetrexed for advanced malignancies is indicated.
PMCID: PMC3228036  PMID: 20798192
Topotecan; Pemetrexed; Hematologic toxicity; Pharmacokinetics; Advanced solid tumors
2.  Evaluation of CYP3A‐mediated drug–drug interactions with romidepsin in patients with advanced cancer 
Journal of Clinical Pharmacology  2015;55(12):1378-1385.
Two multicenter, single‐arm, single‐infusion, open‐label studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of ketoconazole (a strong CYP3A inhibitor) or rifampin (a strong CYP3A inducer) daily for 5 days on the pharmacokinetics (PK) and safety of romidepsin (8 mg/m2 intravenous 4‐hour infusion for the ketoconazole study or a 14 mg/m2 intravenous 4‐hour infusion for the rifampin study) in patients with advanced cancer. Romidepsin coadministered with ketoconazole (400 mg) or rifampin (600 mg) was not bioequivalent to romidepsin alone. With ketoconazole, the mean romidepsin AUC and Cmax were increased by approximately 25% and 10%, respectively. With rifampin, the mean romidepsin AUC and Cmax were unexpectedly increased by approximately 80% and 60%, respectively; this is likely because of inhibition of active liver uptake. For both studies, romidepsin clearance and volume of distribution were decreased, terminal half‐life was comparable, and median Tmax was similar. Overall, the safety profile of romidepsin was not altered by coadministration with ketoconazole or rifampin, except that a higher incidence and greater severity of thrombocytopenia was observed when romidepsin was given with rifampin. The use of romidepsin with rifampin and strong CYP3A inducers should be avoided. Toxicity related to romidepsin exposure should be monitored when romidepsin is given with strong CYP3A inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC5034805  PMID: 26053962
romidepsin; ketoconazole; rifampin; drug–drug interaction; pharmacokinetics
3.  Phase I Study of Pazopanib in Combination with Weekly Paclitaxel in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors 
The Oncologist  2010;15(12):1253-1261.
This phase I study determined the maximum tolerated regimen and dose-limiting toxicities of pazopanib in combination with weekly paclitaxel, assessed the effect of pazopanib on the pharmacokinetic profile of paclitaxel, and evaluated antitumor activity.
To evaluate the maximum tolerated regimen (MTR), dose-limiting toxicities, and pharmacokinetics of pazopanib, an oral small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and c-Kit, in combination with paclitaxel.
Patients and Methods.
Pazopanib was given daily with weekly paclitaxel on days 1, 8, and 15 every 28 days. Dose levels of pazopanib (mg/day)/paclitaxel (mg/m2) were 400/15, 800/15, 800/50, and 800/80. An expanded cohort was enrolled at the MTR. Plasma samples were collected to evaluate the effect of pazopanib, an inhibitor of cytochrome P450 (CYP)3A4, on the pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel, a CYP3A4 and CYP2C8 substrate.
Of 26 enrolled patients, 17 were treated at the MTR of 800 mg pazopanib and 80 mg/m2 paclitaxel. Dose-limiting toxicities included a grade 3 abscess and grade 2 hyperbilirubinemia. Other toxicities included elevated liver transaminases and diarrhea. Six patients (23%) had partial responses and 15 patients (58%) had stable disease. Administration of 800 mg pazopanib resulted in a 14% lower paclitaxel clearance and a 31% higher paclitaxel maximal concentration than with administration of paclitaxel alone at 15, 50, and 80 mg/m2. At the MTR, coadministration of 800 mg pazopanib and 80 mg/m2 paclitaxel resulted in a 26% higher geometric mean paclitaxel area under the curve.
Pazopanib, at a dose of 800 mg daily, can be safely combined with a therapeutic dose of paclitaxel at 80 mg/m2 when administered on days 1, 8, and 15, every 28 days. The observed greater plasma concentrations of paclitaxel given concurrently with pazopanib suggest that pazopanib is a weak inhibitor of CYP3A4 and CYP2C8.
PMCID: PMC3227920  PMID: 21147873
Pazopanib; Paclitaxel; Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor
4.  Phase 1, Open-Label, Dose Escalation, Safety, and Pharmacokinetics Study of ME-344 as a Single Agent in Patients With Refractory Solid Tumors 
Cancer  2014;121(7):1056-1063.
The current phase 1, open-label, dose escalation study was conducted to establish the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic profile, and preliminary antitumor activity of the novel mitochondrial inhibitor ME-344 in patients with refractory solid tumors.
Patients with refractory solid tumors were treated in a 3 + 3 dose escalation design. ME-344 was administered via intravenous infusion on days 1, 8, and 15 of the first 28-day cycle and weekly thereafter. Pharmacokinetics was assessed on days 1 and 15 of the first cycle.
A total of 30 patients (median age, 65 years; 67% of whom were female) received ME-344. There were 5 dose-limiting toxicities reported. Four patients developed grade 3 neuropathy (2 patients each at doses of 15 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg) and 1 patient treated at a dose of 10 mg/kg developed a grade 3 acute myocardial infarction (toxicity was graded according to the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events [version 4.03]). The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was defined as 10 mg/kg weekly. The most common adverse events were nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. At the MTD of 10 mg/kg, the maximal plasma concentration (Cmax) was 25.8 µg/mL and the area under the concentration curve from time zero to infinity was 25.9 hour*µg/mL. One patient with small cell lung cancer achieved a partial response for ≥52 weeks. Four patients had prolonged stable disease (1 patient each with urothelial carcinoma [47 weeks], carcinoid tumor [≥40 weeks], cervical leiomyosarcoma [39 weeks], and cervical cancer [≥31 weeks]).
The once-weekly administration of ME-344 was generally well tolerated in the current study, a first-in-human study; dose-limiting neuropathy was noted, but not at the MTD. Exposures at the 10-mg/kg dose level suggest a sufficient therapeutic index. The preliminary clinical activity as a monotherapy supports the further clinical development of ME-344 in combination with chemotherapy.
The current phase 1, open-label, dose escalating, first-in human study of ME-344 in patients with refractory solid tumors found that the maximum tolerated dose of once-weekly 10-mg/kg administration of the drug was generally well tolerated. The preliminary clinical activity as a monotherapy supports the further clinical development of ME-344 in combination with chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4406150  PMID: 25411085
ME-344; first-in-human; mitochondrial inhibitor; phase 1; refractory solid tumors; maximum tolerated dose (MTD)
5.  Factors affecting the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of PEGylated liposomal irinotecan (IHL-305) in patients with advanced solid tumors 
IHL-305 is a PEGylated liposomal formulation of irinotecan (CPT-11). The objective of this study was to evaluate the factors associated with interpatient variability in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of IHL-305 in patients with advanced solid tumors. IHL-305 was administered intravenously once every 4 weeks as part of a Phase I study. Pharmacokinetic studies of the liposomal sum total CPT-11, released CPT-11, SN-38, SN-38G, 7-ethyl-10-[4-N-(5-aminopentanoic acid)-1-piperidino]-carbonyloxycamptothecin, and 7-ethyl-10-[4-amino-1-piperidino]-carbonyloxycamptothecin in plasma were performed. Noncompartmental and compartmental pharmacokinetic analyses were conducted using pharmacokinetic data for sum total CPT-11. The pharmacokinetic variability of IHL-305 is associated with linear and nonlinear clearance. Patients whose age and body composition (ratio of total body weight to ideal body weight [TBW/IBW]) were greater than the median age and TBW/IBW of the study had a 1.7-fold to 2.6-fold higher ratio of released CPT-11 area under the concentration versus time curve (AUC) to sum total CPT-11 AUC. Patients aged <60 years had a 1.3-fold higher ratio of percent decrease in monocytes at nadir to percent decrease in absolute neutrophil count at nadir as compared with patients aged ≥60 years. There was an inverse relationship between patient age and percent decrease in monocytes at nadir, ie, younger patients have a higher percent decrease in monocytes. Patients with a higher percent decrease in monocytes at nadir have a decreased plasma exposure of sum total CPT-11. The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of IHL-305 are consistent with those of other PEGylated liposomal carriers. Interpatient variability in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of IHL-305 was associated with age, body composition, and monocytes.
PMCID: PMC4334335  PMID: 25709442
PEGylated liposome; irinotecan; CPT-11; IHL-305; pharmacokinetics; monocytes
6.  A phase I/II study of carfilzomib 2–10-min infusion in patients with advanced solid tumors 
Tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics, and antitumor activity of carfilzomib, a selective proteasome inhibitor, administered twice weekly by 2–10-min intravenous (IV) infusion on days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16 in 28-day cycles, were assessed in patients with advanced solid tumors in this phase I/II study.
Adult patients with solid tumors progressing after ≥1 prior therapies were enrolled. The dose was 20 mg/m2 in week 1 of cycle 1 and 20, 27, or 36 mg/m2 thereafter. The maximum tolerated dose or protocol-defined maximum planned dose (MPD) identified during dose escalation was administered to an expansion cohort and to patients with small cell lung, non-small cell lung, ovarian, and renal cancer in phase II tumor-specific cohorts.
Fourteen patients received carfilzomib during dose escalation. The single dose-limiting toxicity at 20/36 mg/m2 was grade 3 fatigue, establishing the MPD as the expansion and phase II dose. Sixty-five additional patients received carfilzomib at the MPD. Adverse events included fatigue, nausea, anorexia, and dyspnea. Carfilzomib PK was dose proportional with a half-life <1 h. All doses resulted in at least 80 % proteasome inhibition in blood. Partial responses occurred in two patients in phase I, with 21.5 % stable disease after four cycles in evaluable patients in the expansion and phase II cohorts.
Carfilzomib 20/36 mg/m2 was well tolerated when administered twice weekly by 2–10-min IV infusion. At this dose and infusion rate, carfilzomib inhibited the proteasome in blood but demonstrated limited antitumor activity in patients with advanced solid tumors.
PMCID: PMC3784064  PMID: 23975329
Proteasome inhibitor; Carfilzomib; Solid tumors; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics
7.  A first-in-human dose-escalation study of ME-143, a second generation NADH oxidase inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid tumors 
Investigational New Drugs  2013;32(1):87-93.
Background ME-143, a second-generation tumor-specific NADH oxidase inhibitor, is broadly active against human cancers in vitro and in vivo. This first-in-human dose-escalation study evaluated the dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), pharmacokinetics, safety, tolerability, and preliminary anti-tumor activity of ME-143 in patients with advanced solid tumors. Methods Patients with advanced solid tumors were treated in a 3 + 3 escalation design. ME-143 was administered via intravenous infusion on days 1, 8, and 15 of the first 28-day cycle, and weekly thereafter; the final cohort received twice-weekly treatment. Samples for pharmacokinetic analysis were collected during cycle 1. Treatment continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Results Eighteen patients were treated: 2.5 mg/kg (n = 3); 5 mg/kg (n = 3); 10 mg/kg (n = 3); 20 mg/kg (n = 6); 20 mg/kg twice-weekly (n = 3). There were no DLTs observed. Nearly all treatment-related toxicities were grade 1/2, specifically (all grades) nausea (22 %) and fatigue (17 %). Two patients experienced infusion reactions at the 20 mg/kg dose level, one of which was grade 4. Stable disease was documented in three patients with colorectal cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, and anal cancer. Pharmacokinetic exposures were linear and dose-dependent, with a half-life of approximately 5 h. Conclusions ME-143 was well-tolerated when administered intravenously at the maximally administered/recommended phase 2 dose of 20 mg/kg once weekly to patients with advanced solid tumors. Though limited clinical activity was observed with monotherapy, inhibitors of tumor-specific NADH oxidase such as ME-143 may derive their greatest benefit in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3913846  PMID: 23525756
ME-143; tNOX; Dose escalation; Isoflavone; Apoptosis
8.  A Phase I and Pharmacokinetic Study of Oral Lapatinib Administered Once or Twice Daily in Patients with Solid Malignancies 
This study determined the range of tolerable doses, clinical safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary evidence of clinical activity following once or twice daily administration of lapatinib in patients with solid malignancies.
Experimental Design
Cancer patients (n = 81) received oral doses of lapatinib ranging from 175 to 1,800 mg once daily or 500 to 900 mg twice daily. Clinical assessments of safety and antitumor activity were recorded and blood was sampled for pharmacokinetic assessments. The effect of a low-fat meal on lapatinib pharmacokinetics was assessed in a subset of patients.
Lapatinib was well tolerated, such that dose escalation was limited at 1,800 mg once daily only by pill burden. Twice-daily dosing was implemented to further explore tolerability, and was limited by diarrhea to 500 mg twice daily. The most commonly reported adverse events with once-daily dosing were diarrhea (48%), nausea (40%), rash (40%), and fatigue (38%) and with twice-daily dosing were diarrhea (85%), rash (54%), and nausea (34%). Lapatinib serum concentrations accumulated upon repeated dosing, increasing nearly in proportion with dose, and were significantly increased when dosed with food or administered twice daily. One patient with head and neck cancer achieved a confirmed complete response and 22 patients had stable disease of ≥8 weeks including three patients with stable disease of >10 months (renal, lung, and salivary gland cancers).
Lapatinib was well tolerated following once and twice daily administration. Systemic exposure to lapatinib was dependent on the dose, duration and frequency of dosing, and prandial state. Clinical activity was observed.
PMCID: PMC3232441  PMID: 19825948
9.  A Phase I Dose-Escalation Study of Danusertib (PHA-739358) Administered as a 24-hour Infusion With and Without G-CSF in a 14-day Cycle in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors 
This study was conducted to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the intravenous pan-aurora kinase inhibitor PHA-739358, danusertib, in patients with advanced solid tumors.
Experimental Design
In Part 1, patients received escalating doses of danusertib (24-h infusion every 14 days) without filgrastim (G-CSF). Febrile neutropenia was the dose-limiting toxicity without G-CSF. Further dose escalation was performed in part 2 with G-CSF. Blood samples were collected for danusertib pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Skin biopsies were collected to assess histone H3 phosphorylation (pH3).
Fifty-six patients were treated, 40 in part 1 and 16 in part 2. Febrile neutropenia was the dose limiting toxicity in Part 1 without G-CSF. Most other adverse events were grade 1–2, occurring at doses ≥360 mg/m2 with similar incidence in parts 1 and 2. The MTD without G-CSF is 500 mg/m2. The recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) in Part 2 with G-CSF is 750 mg/m2. Danusertib demonstrated dose-proportional pharmacokinetics in parts 1 and 2 with a median half-life of 18–26 hours. pH3 modulation in skin biopsies was observed at ≥500 mg/m2. One patient with refractory small cell lung cancer (1000 mg/m2 with G-CSF) had an objective response lasting 23 weeks. One patient with refractory ovarian cancer had 27% tumor regression and 30% CA125 decline.
Danusertib was well tolerated with target inhibition in skin at ≥500 mg/m2. Preliminary evidence of anti-tumor activity, including a PR and several occurrences of prolonged stable disease (SD), was seen across a variety of advanced refractory cancers. Phase II studies are ongoing.
PMCID: PMC2826106  PMID: 19825950
Danusertib; PHA-739358; Aurora Kinase Inhibitor; phase I trial; solid tumors

Results 1-9 (9)