To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and characterize the dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) of tanespimycin when given in combination with bortezomib.
Phase I dose-escalating trial using a standard cohort “3+3” design performed in patients with advanced solid tumors. Patients were given tanespimycin and bortezomib twice weekly for 2 weeks in a 3 week cycle (days 1, 4, 8, 11 every 21 days).
Seventeen patients were enrolled in this study, fifteen were evaluable for toxicity, and nine patients were evaluable for tumor response. The MTD was 250 mg/m2 of tanespimycin and 1.0 mg/m2 of bortezomib when used in combination. DLTs of abdominal pain (13%), complete atrioventricular block (7%), fatigue (7%), encephalopathy (7%), anorexia (7%), hyponatremia (7%), hypoxia (7%), and acidosis (7%) were observed. There were no objective responses. One patient had stable disease.
The recommended phase II dose for twice weekly 17-AAG and PS341 are 250 mg/m2 and 1.0 mg/m2respectively, on days 1, 4, 8 and 11 of a 21 day cycle.
Phase I Trials; tanespimycin; bortezomib; solid tumors
This study was designed to test the hypothesis that specific inhibition of cathepsins B and L will cause death of neuroblastoma cells. Five compounds that differ in mode and rate of inhibition of these two enzymes were all shown to cause neuroblastoma cell death. Efficacy of the different compounds was related to their ability to inhibit the activity of the isolated enzymes. A dose- and time-response for induction of cell death was demonstrated for each compound. A proteomic study showed that inhibitor treatment caused an increase of markers of cell stress, including induction of levels of the autophagy marker, LC-3-II. Levels of this marker protein were highest at cytotoxic inhibitor concentrations, implicating autophagy in the cell death process. An in vivo mouse model showed that one of these inhibitors markedly impaired tumor growth. It is concluded that development of drugs to target these two proteases may provide a novel approach to treating neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma; Cathepsin; Inhibitor; Autophagy
PA-U2, an engineered anthrax protective antigen that is activated by urokinase was combined with wild-type lethal factor in the treatment of Colo205 colon adenocarcinoma in vitro and B16-BL6 mouse melanoma in vitro and in vivo. This therapy was also tested in combination with the small molecule paclitaxel, based on prior reports suggesting synergy between ERK1/2 inhibition and chemotherapeutics. Colo205 was sensitive to PA-U2/LF while B16-BL6 was not. For the combination treatment of B16-BL6, paclitaxel showed a dose response in vitro, but cells remained resistant to PA-U2/LF even in the presence of paclitaxel. In vivo, each therapy slowed tumor progression, and an additive effect between the two was observed. Since LF targets tumor vasculature while paclitaxel is an anti-mitotic, it is possible the agents were acting against different cells in the stroma, precluding a synergistic effect. The engineered anthrax toxin PA-U2/LF warrants further development and testing, possibly in combination with an anti-angiogenesis therapy such as sunitinib or sorafinib.
anthrax toxin; B16 melanoma; urokinase; paclitaxel; combination therapy
Background and Rationale Bortezomib
(PS-341, VELCADE®) is a selective inhibitor of the 26S proteasome, an integral component of the ubiquitinproteasome pathway. This phase II study evaluated the activity and tolerability of bortezomib in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.
The primary endpoint was confirmed tumor response rate (RR) with secondary endpoints including duration of response, time to disease progression, survival and toxicity. Treatment consisted of bortezomib, 1.3 mg/m2 IV bolus on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 of each 21-day treatment cycle. Eligibility included: no prior systemic chemotherapy, ECOG PS 0-2, Child-Pugh A or B, preserved hematologic, hepatic and neurologic function; prior liver-directed therapy was permitted.
Thirty-five patients enrolled and received a median of 2 cycles of treatment (range 1–12). Overall, 24 and 4 patients had a maximum severity of grade 3 and 4 adverse events (AEs), respectively. No treatment related deaths occurred. Only thrombocytopenia (11%) was seen in greater than 10% of patients. One patient achieved a partial response, lasting 13 weeks during treatment and progressed 11.6 months later; two patients received treatment for greater than 6 months. Median time-to-progression was 1.6 months and median survival was 6.0 months.
This international, multicenter trial evaluated bortezomib as monotherapy in unresectable HCC patients. And, despite the lack of significant activity, this report serves as a baseline clinical experience for the development of future dual biologic approaches including bortezomib.
Boronic acids; Antineoplastic agents; Biologic agents; Treatment outcome
Poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase-1 (PARP-1) localizes rapidly to sites of DNA damage and has been associated with various repair mechanisms including base excision repair (BER) and homologous recombination/non-homologous end joining (HRR/NHEJ). PARP-1 acts by adding poly-ADP ribose side chains to target proteins (PARylation) altering molecular interactions and functions. Recently small molecule inhibitors of PARP-1 have been shown to have significant clinical potential and third generation PARP inhibitors are currently being investigated in clinical trials. These drugs alone or in combination with radio/chemotherapy have resulted in meaningful patient responses and an increase in survival in metastatic breast cancer cases bearing BRCA-deficient or triple negative tumors and BRCA-deficient ovarian cancer patients. ABT-888, a potent PARP-1 inhibitor, sensitizes many cancer cells in-vitro and in-vivo to temozolomide. As such, we hypothesized that colon cancers would be sensitized to the DNA damaging chemotherapeutic agents, oxaliplatin and irinotecan, by ABT-888. Using colon cancer cell lines significant synergy was observed between ABT-888 and irinotecan at concentrations of ABT-888 as low as 0.125 μM. The level of synergy observed correlated with the degree of PARP1 inhibition as measured biochemically in cell lysates. ABT-888 at concentrations of 0.5–4 μM resulted in synergy with oxaliplatin. Furthermore, 24 h post treatment combinations of ABT-888/irinotecan generally resulted in increased G2/M cell cycle arrest and increased levels of DNA damage, followed by increased levels of apoptosis 48 h post treatment. In conclusion this study suggests that ABT-888 may be a clinically effective adjuvant to current colon cancer therapies that include the use of irinotecan and/or oxaliplatin.
PMID: 23054213 CAMSID: cams3703
PARP; PARP inhibitor; VE-821; Irinotecan; SN38; Colon cancer
Reolysin® is reovirus serotype 3-Dearing strain, a double-stranded replication-competent RNA non-enveloped icosahedral virus. It induces cytopathic and anti-cancer effects in cells with an activated ras pathway due to inhibition of the dsRNA-activated protein kinase.
This was a single center dose escalation trial of Reolysin administered intravenously every 4 weeks in doses ranging from 1×108 to 3×1010 tissue culture infective dose (TCID)50. Serum for neutralizing antibody, and serum, stool, saliva, and urine for viral shedding were collected. Tumor samples were analyzed for activating mutations in the ras and braf oncogenes.
Eighteen patients received 27 doses of Reolysin in 6 dose cohorts accomplishing a 300 fold dose escalation without a protocol-defined dose limiting toxicity. Drug related grade 2 toxicities included fatigue and fever (1 patient each). All patients developed neutralizing antibody during the course of the study. Viral shedding was observed in 6 patients. One patient with anthracycline and taxane refractory breast cancer experienced a partial response (PR) and her tumor had a ras G12A mutation. Biopsy from her chest wall mass showed evidence of necrosis and viral replication by electron microscopy. Overall clinical benefit (1 PR + 7 stable disease) rate was 45%, and appeared higher in patients with viral shedding (67%) than those without (33%).
Reolysin administered monthly as a one-hour infusion is safe and well-tolerated even in multiple doses. Reolysin has anti-tumor activity as a single agent warranting further evaluation, including in combination with chemotherapy. Viral shedding may suggest intrapatient replication yielding a benefit and should be studied carefully in future studies.
Phase I; Clinical trials; Reolysin®; Reovirus; Neutralizing antibody
A pharmacokinetic [PK]-driven screening process was implemented to select new agents for brain tumor chemotherapy from a series of low molecular weight anticancer agents [ON27x] that consisted of 141 compounds. The screening procedures involved a combination of in silico, in vitro and in vivo mouse studies that were cast into a pipeline of tier 1 and tier 2 failures that resulted in a final investigation of 2 analogues in brain tumor-bearing mice. Tier 1 failures included agents with a molecular weight of > 450 Da, a predicted log P (log P) of either < 2 or > 3.5, and a cytotoxicity IC50 value of > 2 uM. Next, 18 compounds underwent cassette dosing studies in normal mice that identified compounds with high systemic clearance, and low blood-brain barrier [BBB] penetration. These indices along with a derived parameter, referred to as the brain exposure index, comprised tier 2 failures that led to the administration of 2 compounds [ON27570, ON27740] as single agents [discrete dosing] to mice bearing intracerebral tumors. Comparison of ON27570’s resultant PK parameters to those obtained in the cassette dosing format suggested a drug-drug interaction most likely at the level of BBB transport, and prompted the use of the in vitro MDCK-MDR1 transport model to help assess the nature of the discrepancy. Overall, the approach was able to identify candidate compounds with suitable PK characteristics yet further revisions to the method, such as the use of in vitro metabolism and transport assays, may improve the PK-directed approach to identify efficacious agents for brain tumor chemotherapy.
Pharmacokinetics; Drug development; Brain tumor; CNS; Preclinical
Sorafenib is an orally administered multikinase inhibitor that exhibits antiangiogenic and antitumor activity. Few investigators have been able to correlate cumulative sorafenib dose or total exposure to pharmacodynamic effects. This discrepancy may be in part due to poorly understood protein binding characteristics. Since unbound drug concentrations are believed to be more relevant to pharmacological and toxicological responses than total drug, an equilibrium dialysis method using 96-well microdialysis plates was optimized and validated for determining the fraction unbound (Fu) sorafenib in human plasma and in isolated protein solutions. Unbound sorafenib concentrations were determined in cancer patients receiving the drug orally at a dose of 400 mg and 600 mg twice daily. Sorafenib was extensively bound with mean Fu value of 0.3% in both non-cancer and cancer patient’s plasma. The binding in plasma was concentration independent, indicating a low-affinity, possibly nonspecific and nonsaturable process. In isolated protein solutions, 99.8% and 79.3% of sorafenib was bound to human serum albumin (HSA) (4 g/dL) and α1-acid glycoprotein (AAG) (0.1 g/dL) with binding constants of 1.24 × 106 M−1 and 1.40 × 105 M−1respectively. In cancer patients receiving sorafenib, unbound sorafenib was not correlated with patient characteristics or laboratory values. In conclusion, sorafenib is highly protein bound in human plasma with a higher affinity towards albumin that limited free drug may be partly responsible for its borderline clinical activity.
Sorafenib; protein binding; alpha1-acid glycoprotein; equilibrium dialysis; pharmacokinetics; cancer
Preclinical studies in human melanoma cell lines and murine xenograft tumor models suggest that the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib enhances the activity of the cytotoxic agent dacarbazine. We performed a phase I trial of bortezomib and dacarbazine in melanoma, soft tissue sarcoma, and amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation tumors. The primary objective was to identify recommended phase II doses for the combination.
Bortezomib and dacarbazine were both administered intravenously once weekly. All patients received prophylactic antiemetics. Dose escalation proceeded using a standard 3+3 design. Response was assessed according to NCI RECIST v1.0.
Twenty eight patients were enrolled to six dose levels. Bortezomib 1.6 mg/m2 and dacarbazine 580 mg/m2 are the recommended phase II weekly doses. The combination was generally well tolerated. Among 15 patients with melanoma there was one durable complete response in a patient with an exon-11 cKIT mutation, and one partial response. Among 12 patients with soft tissue sarcoma there was one partial response.
Bortezomib 1.6 mg/m2 and dacarbazine 580 mg/m2 administered intravenously once weekly is well tolerated and has at least minimal activity in melanoma and soft tissue sarcoma.
Bortezomib; Dacarbazine; Melanoma; Soft tissue sarcoma; Phase I trial
Activation of EGFR can stimulate proliferative and survival signaling through mTOR. Preclinical data demonstrates synergistic activity of combined EGFR and mTOR inhibition. We undertook a phase I trial of temsirolimus (T, an mTOR inhibitor) and EKB-569 (E, an EGFR inhibitor) to determine the safety and tolerability.
The primary aim was to determine the maximally tolerated dose (MTD) of this combination in adults with solid tumors. Following the dose-escalation phase, (Cohort A), two subsequent cohorts were used to assess any pharmacokinetic (PK) interaction between the agents.
Forty eight patients were enrolled. The MTD of this combination was E, 35 mg daily and T, 30 mg on days 1–3 and 15–17 using a 28-day cycle. The most common toxicities were nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, anorexia, stomatitis, rash, anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and hypertriglyceridemia. Sixteen patients (36%) had at least one grade 3 toxicity. The most frequent grade 3/4 toxicities were diarrhea, dehydration, and nausea and vomiting (19% each). No grade 5 events were seen. Four patients had a partial response and 15 had stable disease. Clinical benefit was seen across a range of tumor types and in all cohorts. PK analysis revealed no significant interaction between E and T.
This combination of agents is associated with tolerable toxicities at doses that induced responses. PK studies revealed no interaction between the drugs. Further investigations of this targeting strategy may be attractive in renal cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, alveolar sarcoma, and carcinoid tumor.
CCI-779; EKB-569; Temsirolimus; Phase I; Pharmacokinetics; Solid tumors
The synthetic caged Garcinia xanthone, cluvenone, has potent and selective cytotoxicity against numerous cancer cell lines including those that are multi-drug resistant. The direct target of this structurally and functionally unique agent is unknown and that of the parent natural product, gambogic acid (GA), presently in clinical trials, is not yet entirely clear. For the first time, using fluorescently labeled GA (GA-Bodipy), we determined that GA-Bodipy localized in mitochondria and was effectively displaced by cluvenone in competition experiments indicating that the direct target of cluvenone resided in mitochondria and was shared by GA. In agreement with these findings, treatment of HeLa cells with cluvenone or GA resulted in disruption of mitochondrial morphology within 4 h. Furthermore, experiments using the potential sensitive JC-1 dye demonstrated that cells treated with 1 μM cluvenone for 1 h had significant loss of MMP compared to control cells. Examination of Cyt c levels in leukemia cells treated with 1 μM cluvenone resulted in a 4-fold increase in levels of both cytosolic and mitochondrial Cyt c. In agreement with Cyt c release, caspase 9 activity was increased 2.6-fold after treatment of cells for 5 h with 1 μM cluvenone. Remarkably, the caspase-9 inhibitor, Z-LEHD-FMK, blocked cluvenone-induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner with apoptosis being completely blocked by 10 μM of the inhibitor. In conclusion, cluvenone, an agent with potent cytotoxicity against multi-drug resistant tumor cells, has direct targets in mitochondria thus setting precedence for drug discovery efforts against these targets in the treatment of refractory cancers.
Cluvenone; mitocan; mitochondria; apoptosis; Garcinia; xanthone
The benzoaxines have been developed from structurally similar chromones as specific inhibitors of the PI3K family to sensitize cancer cells to the effects of chemotherapeutic agents; most have been shown to do this through specific inhibition of DNA-PK and DNA repair mechanisms. In this study we examined the benzoxazine, 2-((3-methoxybut-3en-2-yl)amino)-8methyl-4H-benzo[1,3]oxazin-4one (LTUSI54). This compound had no DNA-PK or PI3K inhibitory activity but still sensitized HeLa cells to the effects of Etoposide. LTUSI54 works synergistically with Etoposide to inhibit growth of HeLa cells and sub G1 analysis indicates that this is not due to an increase in apoptosis. LTUSI54 neither enhances DSB formation due to Etoposide nor does it delay the repair of such damage. Cell cycle analysis shows a clear G2 block with Etoposide alone while, in combination with LTUSI54 there is an additional S phase arrest. Phospho-kinase analysis indicated that LTUSI54 engages key regulators of cell cycle progression, specifically p38α, p53 and ERK 1/2. From our results we hypothesize that LTUSI54 is promoting the cell cycle arrest through activation of p38α pathways, independent of p53 mechanisms. This results in a decrease in p53 phosphorylation and hence, restricted apoptosis. Changes in cell number appear to be the result of p38α pathways disrupting cell cycle progression, at the S and G2 checkpoints. Further investigation into the finer mechanisms by which LTUSI54 effects cell cycle progression would be of great interest in assessing this compound as a chemosensitising agent.
Chemosensitisation; Benzoxazines; Etoposide; HeLa; Cancer; Cell cycle arrest
This study was performed to determine the dose limiting toxicity (DLT), the recommended phase II dose and the pharmacokinetic profile for SR271425, given over 1 h every 3 weeks. The initial starting dose of SR271425 was 17 mg/m2. Patient selection was based on common phase I criteria as well as additional cardiac criteria. Thirty-eight patients were accrued to 16 dose levels from 17 to 1,320 mg/m2. Patient characteristics included 24 males and 14 females ages 35–78 with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 (ten patients), 1 (27) and 2 (1). Tumor types were typical for a phase I study. The maximum administered dose was 1,320 mg/m2 with two DLTs, both QTc grade 3 prolongation. No drug related hematological toxicity was noted. Grade 1 toxicities included rash, flushing, pruritus, weight loss, diarrhea, hypertension and fatigue. Grade 2 toxicities included yellow discoloration of the skin, nausea and vomiting. QTc prolongation and hyperbilirubinemia were the only grade 3 toxicities noted. No confirmed tumor response was observed; however, two patients had prolonged stable disease. Both Cend and area under the plasma concentration– time curve increased in a dose related manner. Plasma drug concentrations declined in a biphasic manner with a mean terminal elimination half-life (t1/2) of 7.1 h (±1.3). There was no change in clearance or volume of distribution over the dose range studied. Due to cardiac toxicity occurring with both the parent compound, SR233377, as well as this analog, this series of agents was abandoned from further clinical development.
Thioxanthone; SR271425; QTc prolongation
The synthesis of five 2-arylnaphtho[2,3-d]oxazole- 4,9-dione derivatives was accomplished by refluxing 2-amino-3-bromo-1,4-naphthoquinone with appropriate benzoyl chloride analogs at elevated temperatures. In vitro anticancer evaluation of these compounds was performed on androgen-dependent, LNCaP, and androgen-independent, PC3, human prostate cancer cell lines. In general, these compounds displayed slightly stronger cytotoxicity on the androgen-dependent LNCaP than on the androgen-independent PC3 prostate cancer cell lines. The meta-substituted 2-(3-Chloro-phenyl)-naphtho[2,3-d]oxazole-4,9- dione (10) appear to display the best cytotoxicity on both cell lines with an IC50 of 0.03 μM on LNCaP and 0.08 μM on PC3 after 5 days of exposure.
2-arylnaphtho[2,3-d]oxazole-4,9-dione; Oxazolo-1,4-naphthoquinone; Prostate cancer; Naphthoquinone; Anticancer activities
The California Cancer Consortium has performed a Phase II trial of infusional bryostatin, a protein kinase C inhibitor isolated from the marine invertebrate bryozoan, Bugula Neritina, a member of the phylum Ectoprocta, in combination with cisplatin, in patients (pts) with recurrent platinum-sensitive or resistant ovarian cancer (OC).
Pts received bryostatin 45 mcg/m2 as a 72 h continuous infusion followed by cisplatin 50 mg/m2. Cycles were repeated every 3 weeks. Dosages were chosen based on phase I data obtained by the CCC in a population of pts with mixed tumor types.
Eight pts with recurrent or persistent epithelial OC received 23 cycles of treatment. All pts had received previous platinum-based chemotherapy; two pts had received one prior course, five had received two prior courses, and one had received three prior courses of chemotherapy. The median age was 64 (range 32–72), and Karnofsky performance status 90 (range 80–100). A median of 3 cycles of chemotherapy were delivered (range: 1–5). The median progression-free and overall survivals were 3 and 8.2 months respectively. Best responses included two partial responses (one in a platinum-resistant pt), three pts with stable disease, and three progressions. All pts experienced Grade 3 or 4 toxicities including severe myalgias/pain/fatigue/asthenia in six pts, and severe nausea/ vomiting/constipation in two other pts. One pt experienced a seizure and liver function tests were elevated in one other.
A modest response rate is observed in pts with recurrent or persistent ovarian cancer treated with the combination of bryostatin and cisplatin. The toxicity profile, however, observed in this pt population (primarily severe myalgias), precludes tolerability and prevents this combination from further investigation at this dose and schedule. It is possible that platinum pre-exposure in OC patients exacerbates observed toxicity. Phase II dosages of investigational agents in OC pts that are determined by phase I trials in pts with other tumor types should be chosen cautiously.
Chemomodulation; Chemotherapy; Phase II; Bryostatin; Cisplatin
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.
Solid tumors; Non-small cell lung cancer; Sunitinib; Pemetrexed; Carboplatin
Patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer have limited therapeutic options. The role of the Ras-Raf-MAPK pathway and of vascular endothelial growth factor in pancreatic carcinogenesis provided the rational to evaluate the efficacy of sorafenib with or without gemcitabine in a randomized phase II study.
Patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer were randomized to sorafenib alone (arm A) or sorafenib with gemcitabine (arm B).
Arm A was closed to accrual at interim analysis due to the lack of objective response. Median PFS and OS were 2.3 and 4.3 months respectively. There was one partial response among the 37 patients in arm B. Median PFS and OS were 2.9 and 6.5 months respectively. There were more grade 3 and 4 toxicities in arm B with the most common being neutropenia (17%), thrombocytopenia (8%), alkaline phosphatase elevation (14%), venous thromboembolism (8%), diarrhea, hypokalemia and ALT elevation (5%) each. Several associations were noted between single nucleotide polymorphisms in ribonucleotide reductase, Cox-2, vascular endothelial growth factor and survival in patients treated with gemcitabine and sorafenib.
Neither sorafenib alone or sorafenib in combination with gemcitabine manifested promising activity in metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer; Sorafenib; Gemcitabine; Ribonulceotide reductase
Recent research suggests that altered redox control of melanoma cell survival, proliferation, and invasiveness represents a chemical vulnerability that can be targeted by pharmacological modulation of cellular oxidative stress. The endoperoxide artemisinin and semisynthetic artemisinin-derivatives including dihydroartemisinin (DHA) constitute a major class of antimalarials that kill plasmodium parasites through induction of iron-dependent oxidative stress. Here, we demonstrate that DHA may serve as a redox chemotherapeutic that selectively induces melanoma cell apoptosis without compromising viability of primary human melanocytes. Cultured human metastatic melanoma cells (A375, G361, LOX) were sensitive to DHA-induced apoptosis with upregulation of cellular oxidative stress, phosphatidylserine externalization, and activational cleavage of procaspase 3. Expression array analysis revealed DHA-induced upregulation of oxidative and genotoxic stress response genes (GADD45A, GADD153, CDKN1A, PMAIP1, HMOX1, EGR1) in A375 cells. DHA exposure caused early upregulation of the BH3-only protein NOXA, a proapototic member of the Bcl2 family encoded by PMAIP1, and genetic antagonism (siRNA targeting PMAIP1) rescued melanoma cells from apoptosis indicating a causative role of NOXA-upregulation in DHA-induced melanoma cell death. Comet analysis revealed early DHA-induction of genotoxic stress accompanied by p53 activational phosphorylation (Ser 15). In primary human epidermal melanocytes, viability was not compromised by DHA, and oxidative stress, comet tail moment, and PMAIP1 (NOXA) expression remained unaltered. Taken together, these data demonstrate that metastatic melanoma cells display a specific vulnerability to DHA-induced NOXA-dependent apoptosis and suggest feasibility of future antimelanoma intervention using artemisinin-derived clinical redox antimalarials.
Malignant melanoma; Dihydroartemisinin; PMAIP1; Reactive oxygen species; Oxidative stress; Apoptosis
Gefitinib potently inhibits neuroblastoma proliferation in vitro, and the gefitinib/irinotecan combination shows greater than additive activity against neuroblastoma xenografts. This Phase II pilot study estimated the rate of response to two courses of intravenous irinotecan plus oral gefitinib in children with untreated high-risk neuroblastoma.
Two courses of irinotecan [15 mg/m2/day (daily×5)×2] were combined with 12 daily doses of gefitinib (112.5 mg/m2/day). Response was assessed after six weeks. A response rate >55% was sought.
Of the 23 children enrolled, 19 were evaluable for response. Median age at diagnosis was 3.1 years (range, 18 days – 12.7 years). Most patients were older than 24 months (n=20; 87%), male (n=18; 78%), white (n=16; 70%), had INSS 4 disease (n=19; 83%), and had adrenal primary tumors (n=18; 78%); nine patients (39%) had amplified tumor MYCN. The toxicity of gefitinib/irinotecan was mild and reversible (nausea, 5/20; diarrhea, 8/20; vomiting, 7/20). Five patients had partial responses; 9 others had a 23%–60% decrease in primary tumor volume and/or improved MIBG scans or decreased bone or bone marrow tumor burden. Median (range) systemic irinotecan exposure (AUC) was 283 ng/ml*hr (range, 163–890 ng/ml*hr) and 28 ng/ml*hr (3.6–297 ng/ml*hr) for the active metabolite, SN-38. No relation was observed between response and tumor expression of EGFR, MRP2-4, ABCG2, and Pgp.
Although the gefitinib/irinotecan combination was very tolerable and induced responses, it was not sufficiently active to warrant further investigation. Initial investigational studies of this type can preclude the necessity for larger, longer, and costlier trials.
Neuroblastoma; irinotecan; gefitinib; clinical trial; Phase II; ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
Combined inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Src family kinases (SFK) may lead to improved therapeutic effects. We evaluated the combination of dasatinib, an inhibitor of SFK and other kinases, and cetuximab, an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody.
Patients and Methods
Patients with advanced solid malignancies received cetuximab intravenously on a standard weekly schedule and dasatinib orally, once daily at 3 dose levels: (1) 100 mg, (2) 150 mg, (3) 200 mg. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of dasatinib were performed prior to starting cetuximab and following 14 days of treatment.
Twenty-five patients (3 dose level 1; 19 dose level 2; 3 dose level 3) were initially treated. Three patients developed dose-limiting toxicities: 1 at dose level 2 (headache) and 2 at dose level 3 (headache, nausea). Grade 3–4 toxicities in more than 2 patients included: dyspnea (4), vomiting (4), nausea (3), hypersensitivity reactions (3), headache (3) and anemia (3). Twenty-one patients developed headache (8 grade 1; 10 grade 2), which occurred after the loading of cetuximab and lasted 1–3 days. Six additional patients were treated with dasatinib starting 3 days after the loading dose of cetuximab; none developed headache after dasatinib. Dasatinib pharmacokinetics and a transient decrease in SFK PY416 levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were not altered by cetuximab. Patients with higher plasma TGF-alpha levels had worse progression-free survival.
Dasatinib 150 mg once daily plus weekly cetuximab is recommended for phase II studies. Early-onset headache was ameliorated by starting dasatinib after cetuximab.
dasatinib; cetuximab; Src; epidermal growth factor receptor; phase I; pharmacokinetic; pharmacodynamic
Gallbladder and cholangiocarcinomas represent a heterogeneous group of malignant diseases that commonly present at an advanced stage and that have limited therapeutic options. Based on the role of the Ras-Raf-Mek-Erk pathway and the VEGF axis in biliary carcinomas, we conducted a phase II study of sorafenib in patients with advanced biliary cancers.
Eligible patients had no prior therapy for metastatic or unresectable disease. Sorafenib was administered at 400 mg po twice daily continuously.
The study was terminated after the first stage of accrual due to failure to meet the primary objective. A confirmed response rate of 0% (0% – 11%) was observed. Thirty-nine percent of patients demonstrated stable disease (including 2 with unconfirmed PR). PFS was 3 months (95% CI: 2–4 months) and OS 9 months (95% CI: 4–12 months). The most common grade 3 and 4 toxicities included venous hand-foot skin reaction (13%), bilirubin elevation (13%), thromboembolism (10%), and AST/ALT elevation (10%) and elevated alkaline phosphatase (10%).
While treatment with sorafenib did not result in objective responses, patients with biliary cancers receiving this drug had some therapeutic benefit. Additional studies with sorafenib in combination with chemotherapy or other targeted agents may be warranted.
sorafenib; gallbladder cancer; cholangiocarcinoma; biliary cancer
MKC-1 is an orally available cell cycle inhibitor with downstream targets that include tubulin and the importin-β family. We conducted an open-label Phase II study with MKC-1 in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
Eligibility criteria included unresectable or metastatic pancreatic cancer, performance status of 1 or better, and failure of at least one prior regimen of chemotherapy. MKC-1 was administered orally, twice daily, initially at 100mg/m2 dosing for 14 consecutive days of a 28-day cycle. This schedule was modified during the trial to fixed and continuous dosing of 150mg per day.
20 of an original target of 33 patients were accrued, with a median age of 61 (range 44 to 81). No objective responses were observed, with one patient demonstrating stable disease. Overall survival was 101 days from the start of MKC-1 administration, and median time to progression was 42 days. The most common adverse events listed as related or possibly related to MKC-1 administration were hematologic toxicities and fatigue. One patient developed grade 5 (fatal) pancytopenia. Grade 3 and 4 events included cytopenias (lymphopenia, anemia), hyperbilirubinemia, pneumonia, mucositis, fatigue, infusion reaction, anorexia, and hypoalbuminemia.
MKC-1 administration was associated with substantial toxicity and did not demonstrate sufficient activity in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer to justify further exploration in this patient population.
Pancreatic cancer; Phase II; MKC-1; importin; tubulin
This phase I study aims at assessing the safety and tolerability of LY2603618, a selective inhibitor of Checkpoint Kinase 1, in combination with pemetrexed and determining the maximum tolerable dose and the pharmacokinetic parameters.
This was an open-label, multicenter, dose-escalation study in patients with advanced solid tumors. Increasing doses of LY2603618 (40–195 mg/m2) were combined with 500 mg/m2 of pemetrexed. LY2603618 was administered on Days 1 and 9 and pemetrexed on Day 8 in a 28-day cycle. For all subsequent 21-day cycles, pemetrexed was administered on Day 1 and LY2603618 on Day 2. Anti-tumor activity was evaluated as per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors 1.0.
A total of 31 patients were enrolled into six cohorts (three at 40 mg/m2 over 4.5-hour infusion, 1-hour infusion in subsequent cohorts: three each at 40 mg/m2, 70 mg/m2, and 195 mg/m2; 13 at 105 mg/m2; six at 150 mg/m2). Four patients experienced a dose-limiting toxicity: diarrhea (105 mg/m2); reversible infusion-related reaction (150 mg/m2); thrombocytopenia (195 mg/m2); and fatigue (195 mg/m2). The maximum tolerated dose was defined as 150 mg/m2. The pharmacokinetic data demonstrated that the exposure of LY2603618 increased in a dose-dependent manner, displayed a suitable half-life for maintaining required human exposures while minimizing the intra- and inter-cycle accumulation, and was unaffected by the pemetrexed administration. The pharmacokinetic-defined biologically efficacious dose was achieved at doses ≥105 mg/m2.
LY2603618 administered approximately 24 h after pemetrexed showed acceptable safety and pharmacokinetic profiles.
LY2603618; Pemetrexed; Checkpoint kinase; inhibitor; Cancer
Background To determine the recommended phase II dose (RP2D) and assess the safety, pharmacokinetics (PKs) and pharmacodynamics of RO4929097in combination with temsirolimus. Methods Escalating doses of RO4929097 and temsirolimus were administered at three dose levels. Patients received once daily oral RO4929097 on a 3 days on/4 days off schedule every week, and weekly intravenous temsirolimus. Blood samples were collected for PK analysis. Archival tissue specimens were collected for Notch pathway biomarker analysis and genotyping of frequent oncogenic mutations. Results Seventeen patients with refractory advanced solid tumors were enrolled in three dose levels (DLs): DL1 (RO4929097 10 mg; Temsirolimus 25 mg), DL2 (RO4929097 20 mg; Temsirolimus 25 mg), and DL3 (RO4929097 20 mg; Temsirolimus 37.5 mg). The most common toxicities related to the study drug combination included: fatigue (82 %; grade 3 6 %), mucositis, (71 %; grade 3 6 %), neutropenia (59 %; grade 3 12 %), anemia (59 %; grade 3 0 %), and hypertriglyceridemia (59 %; grade 3 0 %). Two dose-limiting toxicities, grade 3 rash and grade 3 mucositis, were observed in the same patient in the first dose level prompting dose expansion. Eleven patients (73 %) had stable disease as their best response. Co-administration of RO4929097 was associated with increased clearance and reduced exposure to temsirolimus, suggestive of drug-drug interaction via CYP3A4 induction. No correlation between the expression of Notch pathway biomarkers or genotype and time to progression was noted. Conclusions RO4929097 can be safely combined with temsirolimus in patients with advanced solid tumors. The RP2D was established at 20 mg of RO4929097 combined with 37.5 mg of temsirolimus.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10637-013-0001-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
RO4929097; Temsirolimus; Clinical trial; Notch; Gamma-secretase inhibitor
Ixabepilone, which stabilizes microtubules, has low susceptibility to drug resistance mediated by P-glycoprotein or βIII-tubulin.
Materials and Methods
This study was designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of oral ixabepilone when administered every 6 h for three doses, every 3 weeks, to patients with refractory advanced cancers. Eighteen patients were treated with escalating doses of ixabepilone: three at cohort 1 (30 mg/dose; 90 mg on Day 1), nine at cohort 2 (40 mg/dose; 120 mg on Day 1), and six at cohort 3 (50 mg/ dose; 150 mg on Day 1). Serial plasma samples were collected during cycle 1 for pharmacokinetic (PK) measurements.
Of the 18 treated patients, eight were male and ten were female. The median age was 59 years, and most had an excellent performance status (KPS 90–100; 61%). There were two dose limiting toxicities (DLT): Grade 4 febrile neutropenia at the 120 mg dose and Grade 4 neutropenic sepsis at the 150 mg dose. Because of the severity and duration of neutropenic sepsis at level 3, level 2 (120 mg) was defined as the MTD and this cohort was expanded to nine patients. High inter-individual variability in plasma drug concentrations was observed during the study, with particularly high levels in two patients with DLT.
On the basis of this safety profile, the MTD of oral ixabepilone was defined as 120 mg given as three 40 mg doses each separated by 6 h on Day 1 of a 3-week cycle. However, the PK variability observed makes further development of this oral formulation unlikely.
Ixabepilone; Oral administration; Phase I trial