OXi4503 is a tubulin-binding vascular disrupting agent that has recently completed a Cancer Research UK-sponsored phase I trial. Preclinical studies demonstrated early drug-induced apoptosis in tumour endothelial cells at 1–3 h and secondary tumour cell necrosis between 6 and 72 h.
To capture both possible outcomes of OXi4503 treatment on cell death, plasma samples for analysis by M30 and M65 ELISAs, which measure different circulating forms of cytokeratin 18 as biomarkers of apoptosis and necrosis, respectively, were collected from patients entered into the trial at early (4/6 h) and later time points (24 h, day 8 and day 15).
OXi4503 induced a selective dose-dependent elevation in M30 antigen levels (apoptosis) at 4/6 h and a similar elevation in M65 antigen levels at 24 h (necrosis) consistent with its preclinical cell death profile. For the purposes of investigating potential biomarker relationships to patient characteristics, the trial population was divided into three groups based on radiological and clinical response: (a) early progression, (b) progressive disease and (c) stable disease (SD)/partial response. A significant increase in antigen concentrations was measured by M65 at 24 h in the SD group compared with the two other groups (P=0.015, mean increase 30.9%).
These results provide pharmacodynamic evidence of drug mechanism of action in cancer patients and highlight the M65 ELISA as a potentially useful biomarker assay of response to OXi4503.
OXi4503; vascular disrupting agent; phase I trial; cell death mechanisms; M30 ELISA; M65 ELISA
Ovarian cancer presents at advanced stage in around 75% of women, and despite improvements in treatments such as chemotherapy, the 5-year survival from the disease in women diagnosed between 1996 and 1999 in England and Wales was only 36%. Over 80% of patients with advanced ovarian cancer will relapse and despite a good chance of remission from further chemotherapy, they will usually die from their disease. Sequential treatment strategies are employed to maximise quality and length of life but patients eventually become resistant to cytotoxic agents. The expansion in understanding of the molecular biology that characterises cancer cells has led to the rapid development of new agents to target important pathways but the heterogeneity of ovarian cancer biology means that there is no predominant defect. This review attempts to discuss progress to date in tackling a more general target applicable to ovary cancer—angiogenesis.
ovary cancer; VEGF inhibitors; anti-angiogenesis; tyrosine kinase inhibitors; vascular disruptive agents; metronomic chemotherapy
Background: This study was designed to determine the safety, pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) of brivanib in patients with advanced/metastatic solid tumors.
Patients and methods: Ninety patients enrolled in this two-part, phase I open-label study of oral brivanib alaninate. The primary objectives of this study were (in part A) dose-limiting toxicity, maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the lowest biologically active dose level and (in part B) the optimal dose/dose range. The secondary objectives of this study were preliminary evidence of antitumor activity, PK and PD.
Results: Across part A (open-label dose escalation and MTD) and part B (open-label dose optimization), 68 patients received brivanib alaninate. Brivanib demonstrated a manageable toxicity profile at doses of 180–800 mg. Most toxic effects were mild. Systemic exposure of the active moiety brivanib increased linearly ≤1000 mg/day. The MTD was 800 mg/day. Forty-four patients were treated at the MTD: 20 with 800 mg continuously, 11 with 800 mg intermittently and 13 with 400 mg b.i.d. doses. Partial responses were confirmed in two patients receiving brivanib ≥600 mg. Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated statistically significant decreases in parameters reflecting tumor vascularity and permeability after multiple doses in the 800-mg continuous q.d. and 400-mg b.i.d. dose cohorts.
Conclusion: In patients with advanced/metastatic cancer, brivanib demonstrates promising antiangiogenic and antitumor activity and manageable toxicity at doses ≤800 mg orally q.d., the recommended phase II study dose.
antiangiogenesis; brivanib; fibroblast growth factor; vascular endothelial growth factor
The vascular disrupting agent combretastatin A4 phosphate (CA4P) causes major regression of animal tumours when given as combination therapy.
Patients with advanced cancer refractory to standard therapy were treated with CA4P as a 10-min infusion, 20 h before carboplatin, paclitaxel, or paclitaxel, followed by carboplatin.
Combretastatin A4 phosphate was escalated from 36 to 54 mg m−2 with the carboplatin area under the concentration curve (AUC) 4–5, from 27 to 54 mg m−2 with paclitaxel 135–175 mg m−2, and from 54 to 72 mg m−2 with carboplatin AUC 5 and paclitaxel 175 mg m−2. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was seen in 17%, and thrombocytopenia only in 4% of 46 patients. Grade 1–3 hypertension (26% of patients) and grade 1–3 tumour pain (65% of patients) were the most typical non-haematological toxicities. Dose-limiting toxicity of grade 3 hypertension or grade 3 ataxia was seen in two patients at 72 mg m−2. Responses were seen in 10 of 46 (22%) patients with ovarian, oesophageal, small-cell lung cancer, and melanoma.
The combination of CA4P with carboplatin and paclitaxel was well tolerated in the majority of patients with adequate premedication and had antitumour activity in patients who were heavily pretreated.
CA4P; carboplatin; combretastatin A4 phosphate; paclitaxel; phase I trial; vascular disrupting agent
Combretastatin-A4-phosphate (CA4P) acts most effectively against immature tumour vasculature. We investigated whether histological angiogenic profile can explain the differential sensitivity of human tumours to CA4P, by correlating the kinetic changes demonstrated by dynamic MRI (DCE-MRI) in response to CA4P, with tumour immunohistochemical angiogenic markers. Tissue was received from 24 patients (mean age 59, range 32–73, 18 women, 6 men). An angiogenic profile was performed using standard immunohistochemical techniques. Dynamic MRI data were obtained for the same patients before and 4 h after CA4P. Three patients showed a statistically significant fall in Ktrans following CA4P, and one a statistically significant fall in IAUGC60. No statistically significant correlations were seen between the continuous or categorical variables and the DCE-MRI kinetic parameters other than between ang-2 and Ktrans (P=0.044). In conclusion, we found no strong relationships between changes in DCE-MRI kinetic variables following CA4P and the immunohistochemical angiogenic profile.
combretastatin; immunohistochemistry; vascular maturity; dynamic MRI; microvessel density; angiogenesis
The safety and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of erlotinib with docetaxel/carboplatin were assessed in patients with ovarian cancer. Chemonaive patients received intravenous docetaxel (75 mg m−2) and carboplatin (area under the curve 5) on day 1 of a 3-week cycle, and oral erlotinib at 50 (cohort 1), 100 (cohort 2a) or 75 mg day−1 (cohort 2b) for up to six cycles. Dose-limiting toxicities were determined in cycle 1. Forty-five patients (median age 59 years) received treatment. Dose-limiting toxicities occurred in 1/5/5 patients (cohorts 1/2a/2b). The MTD of erlotinib in this regimen was determined to be 75 mg day−1 (cohort 2b; the erlotinib dose was escalated to 100 mg day−1 in 11 out of 19 patients from cycle 2 onwards). Neutropaenia was the predominant grade 3/4 haematological toxicity (85/100/95% respectively). Common non-haematological toxicities were diarrhoea, fatigue, nausea and rash. There were five complete and seven partial responses in 23 evaluable patients (52% response rate). Docetaxel/carboplatin had no measurable effect on erlotinib pharmacokinetics. In subsequent single-agent maintenance, erlotinib was given at 100–150 mg day−1, with manageable toxicity, until tumour progression. Further investigation of erlotinib in epithelial ovarian carcinoma may be warranted, particularly as maintenance therapy.
docetaxel; carboplatin; erlotinib; HER1/EGFR; gynaecological; cancer
As part of surveillance protocols for stage I germ cell tumours, many centres routinely measure human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), alpha feto-protein (AFP) as well as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). In conjunction with regular imaging and clinical examination, does routine measurement of LDH add anything to our relapse/pick up rate? Records of 494 patients at Mount Vernon Hospital who relapsed on surveillance between 1985 and 2005 were examined. Of the 494 patients who relapsed, 125 had raised LDH at the time of relapse. 112 of these had a concurrent rise in either AFP, HCG or both, 11 had their disease detected on CT before the rise in LDH, one had a clinically palpable para-aortic mass and the final patient complained of back pain and his retroperitoneal disease was thus discovered on imaging. Routine measurement of LDH in patients on surveillance for stage I germ cell tumours does not add to the early detection of relapse.
LDH; relapse; germ cell tumours; surveillance
The feasibility of sequential carboplatin followed by docetaxel-based therapy for untreated ovarian cancer was determined. Patients received four q3w cycles of carboplatin AUC 7, then four q3w cycles of either docetaxel 100 mg m−2 (day 1) (arm A); docetaxel 75 mg m−2 (day 8) and gemcitabine 1250 mg m−2 (days 1,8) (arm B) or docetaxel 25 mg m−2 and gemcitabine 800 mg m−2 (both given weekly (days 1,8,15)) (arm C). A total of 44 patients were randomised to each treatment arm. None of the arms demonstrated an eight cycle completion rate (70.5/72.7/45.5% in arms A/B/C, respectively), which was statistically greater than 60% (P=0.102, P=0.056, P=0.982) which was our formal feasibility criteria, although only the completion rate in arm C was clearly worse than this level. The overall response rate (ORR) after carboplatin was 65.7% in 70 evaluable patients. In evaluable patients, ORRs after docetaxel-based cycles were: arm A 84.0% (21 out of 25); arm B 77.3% (17 out of 22); arm C 69.6% (16 out of 23). At follow-up (median 30 months), median progression-free survival times were: arm A 15.5 months (95% CI: 10.5–20.6); arm B 18.1 months (95% CI: 15.9–20.3); arm C, 13.7 months (95% CI: 12.8–14.6). Neutropenia was the predominant grade 3–4 haematological toxicity: 77.8/85.7/54.4% in arms A/B/C, respectively. Dyspnoea was markedly increased in both gemcitabine-containing arms (P=0.001) but was worse in arm C. Although just failing to rule out eight cycle completion rates less than 60%, within the statistical limitations of these small cohorts, the overall results for arms A and B are encouraging. Larger phase III studies are required to test these combinations.
ovarian cancer; docetaxel; carboplatin; gemcitabine; triple-agent therapy; sequential therapy
Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) is being used increasingly in clinical trials to demonstrate that vascular disruptive and antiangiogenic agents target tumour microcirculation. Significant reductions in DCE-MRI kinetic parameters are seen within 4–24 and 48 h of treatment with vascular disruptive and antiangiogenic agents, respectively. It is important to know whether cytotoxic agents also cause significant acute reductions in these parameters, for reliable interpretation of results. This study investigated changes in transfer constant (Ktrans) and the initial area under the gadolinium curve (IAUGC) following the first dose of chemotherapy in patients with mostly gynaecological tumours. A reproducibility analysis on 20 patients (using two scans performed on consecutive days) was used to determine the significance of DCE-MRI parameter changes 24 h after chemotherapy in 18 patients. In 11 patients who received platinum alone or with a taxane, there were no significant changes in Ktrans or IAUGC in either group or individual patient analyses. When the remaining seven patients (treated with a variety of agents including platinum and taxanes) were included (n=18), there were also no significant changes in Ktrans. Therefore, if combination therapy does show changes in DCE-MRI parameters then the effects can be attributed to antivascular therapy rather than chemotherapy.
DCE-MRI; vascular disruptive agents; cytotoxic; Ktrans; tumour
This phase II trial describes the use of TIP chemotherapy (paclitaxel, ifosfamide and cisplatin) as salvage for patients with metastatic germ cell cancer (GCC) who have failed initial BEP (bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin) chemotherapy. Patients with first relapse following BEP for metastatic GCC, confirmed by biopsy or sequentially rising markers, received four courses of TIP (paclitaxel 175 mg m−2 day 1, followed on days 1–5 by ifosfamide 1 g m−2 intravenously (i.v.) and cisplatin 20 mg2 i.v.) at 3-weekly intervals. The primary outcome measure was response to TIP. In all, 51 patients were registered, of whom 43 were eligible for response assessment. Eight achieved complete remission (CR) and 18 a partial remission with negative markers (PR−ve); favourable response rate (FRR=CR+PR−ve) 60%, 95% CI (44–75%); survival at 1 year was 70% (56–84%) and failure-free survival 36% (22–50%). In the group of 26 patients meeting the ‘good-risk' criteria described by the Memorial Hospital, the FRR was 73% (52–88%) compared with 41% (18–67%) for the 17 ‘poor-risk' patients. These results are inferior to those previously reported for TIP in a single-centre study when it was given more intensively, at higher dose and with growth factor support. Nonetheless, TIP as described here can cure a substantial proportion of patients.
cisplatin; ifosfamide; metastatic germ cell cancer; paclitaxel; salvage chemotherapy
Vascular and angiogenic processes provide an important target for novel cancer therapeutics. Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging is being used increasingly to noninvasively monitor the action of these therapeutics in early-stage clinical trials. This publication reports the outcome of a workshop that considered the methodology and design of magnetic resonance studies, recommending how this new tool might best be used.
biomarker; magnetic resonance; therapeutic trials; antiangiogenic; antivascular; cancer therapy
cervical cancer; neoadjuvant chemotherapy; magnetic resonance imaging; magnetic resonance spectroscopy; outcome
Germ cell tumour; paclitaxel; high-dose chemotherapy; cisplatin resistance
ovarian cancer; sequential chemotherapy
advanced melanoma; temozolomide; carboplatin; phase I study
germ cell tumours; chemotherapy; infertility; cisplatinum
retinoid; tazarotenic acid; oral
The purpose of this phase I, dose-escalation study was to determine the toxicity, maximum tolerated dose, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic end points of 5,6-dimethylxanthenone acetic acid (DMXAA). In all, 46 patients received a total of 247 infusions of DMXAA over 15 dose levels ranging from 6 to 4900 mg m−2. The maximum tolerated dose was established at 3700 mg m−2; dose-limiting toxicities in the form of urinary incontinence, visual disturbance, and anxiety were observed at the highest dose level (4900 mg m−2). The pharmacokinetics of DMXAA were dose dependent. Peak concentrations and area under the curve level increased from 4.8 μM and 3.2 μM h, respectively, at 6 mg m−2 to 1290 μM and 7600 μM h at 3700 mg m−2, while clearance declined from 7.4 to 1.7 l h−1 m−2 over the same dose range. The terminal half-life was 8.1±4.3 h. More than 99% of the drug was protein bound at doses up to 320 mg m−2; at higher doses the percent free drug increased to a maximum of 6.9% at 4900 mg m−2. Dose-dependent increases in the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid were observed at dose levels of 650 mg m−2 and above. There was one unconfirmed partial response at 1300 mg m−2. In conclusion, DMXAA is a novel vascular targeting agent and is well tolerated.
DMXAA; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics; toxicity
A phase II programme was carried out in both Europe and North America to evaluate the activity of topotecan administered as a 21-day continuous intravenous infusion to patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. The European results are reported here. Patients who had failed first line therapy with a platinum-based regimen received topotecan 0.4 mg/m2/day, as a 21-day infusion every 28 days. Patients were only permitted one prior regimen. 35 patients were enrolled and evaluable for response. 3 patients (8.6%) had a partial response to treatment (95% CI 1.8%, 23.1%) with a median time to response of 8.1 weeks and a median duration of response of 17.6 weeks. Response was also evaluated by CA125 and was also found to be 8%. For all 35 patients, median time to progression was 16.1 weeks and median survival was 43.6 weeks. The principal toxicity was myelosuppression although grade 4 neutropenia occurred in only 8.8% of patients (2.1% of courses) and infectious complications were relatively infrequent. Non-haematological toxicity was generally mild and mainly consisted of gastrointestinal events, alopecia and fatigue. A prolonged infusion of topotecan was well tolerated with a low incidence of severe neutropenia. Responses were seen in both North American and European patients. Response rates varied between the 2 studies possibly due to differences in patient demographics. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
ovarian cancer; topotecan; continuous intravenous infusion
This retrospective study was undertaken to determine the outcome of patients with non-seminomatous germ cell tumour who achieved a serological complete response but who had residual radiologic abnormalities upon completion of primary platinum-based chemotherapy. This was an analysis of 76 consecutive patients treated at Mount Vernon Hospital between 1983 and 1997. The patients were placed into two groups based upon whether they had surgical resection (surgery group, 48 patients) or observation (observation group, 28 patients) of residual radiologic masses on completion of initial chemotherapy (to enter the surgery group, complete surgical resection must have been achieved). The primary end-points were progression-free and overall survival. The percentage of patients alive with median follow-up 66 months was 90% for the surgery group and 80% for the observation group (P= 0.53, not significant). The percentage of patients continuously disease-free was 70% in the surgery group and 80% in the observation group (P= 0.31, not significant). In the small sub-group of patients with differentiated teratoma (TD) in the primary lesion who were observed, there was no excess risk of relapse or death. Patients who achieve a serological complete response after primary chemotherapy, but are left with ≤ 2 cm radiological masses that are not cystic and have responded, can be safely observed with diligent follow-up. © 2000 Cancer ResearchCampaign
testicular neoplasms; surgery; retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
Currently the only tumour marker to have a well-defined and validated role in the management of ovarian cancer is CA125. Changes in the level of CA125 can be used as a reliable indication of response or progression according to various criteria, but it does not yet have a clear place in diagnosis or prognosis. Its value as part of a screening tool and during routine follow-up remain the subject of ongoing trials. Other markers remain experimental and do not have a well-defined contribution to make at present. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
germ cell malignancy; relapse; cisplatin-based chemotherapy; survival
Resistance of tumour cells to methylating and monochloroethylating agents in vitro and in vivo has been linked to levels of the DNA repair protein O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT). In a clinical trial of temozolomide in advanced malignant melanoma, the relationship between pretreatment MGMT levels in biopsies of cutaneous tumours and involved lymph nodes and clinical response to the drug has been studied. Among 50 evaluable patients, there were three complete responses (CR), four partial responses (PR), six with stable disease (SD) and 37 with progressive disease (PD), with an overall response rate of 14%. In 33 patients in whom MGMT level and clinical response could be evaluated, the tumour MGMT levels (fmol mg(-1) protein) were: CR, 158 +/- 119; PR, 607 +/- 481; NC, 171 +/- 101; PD, 185 +/- 42.3. Thus, measurements of pretreatment levels of MGMT in melanoma did not predict for response to temozolomide.
High-dose etoposide (2.0-2.4 g m(-2)) with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is an effective strategy to mobilize peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPCs), although in some patients this is associated with significant toxicity. Sixty-three patients with malignancy were enrolled into this non-randomized sequential study. The majority (55/63, 87%) had received at least two prior regimens of chemotherapy, and seven patients had previously failed to mobilize following high-dose cyclophosphamide with G-CSF. Consecutive patient groups received etoposide at three dose levels [2.0 g m(-2) (n = 22), 1.8 g m(-2) (n = 20) and 1.6 g m(-2) (n = 21)] followed by daily G-CSF. Subsequent leukaphereses were assayed for CD34+ cell content, with a target total collection of 2.0 x 10(6) CD34+ cells kg(-1). Toxicity was assessed by the development of significant mucositis, the requirement for parenteral antibiotics or blood component support and rehospitalization incidence. Ten patients (16%) had less than the minimum target yield collected. Median collections in the three groups were 4.7 (2 g m(-2)), 5.7 (1.8 g m(-2)) and 6.5 (1.6 g m(-2)) x 10(6) CD34+ cells kg(-1). Five of the seven patients who had previously failed cyclophosphamide mobilization achieved more than the target yield. Rehospitalization incidence was significantly lower in patients receiving 1.6 g m(-2) etoposide than in those receiving 2.0 g m(-2) (P = 0.03). These data suggest that high-dose etoposide with G-CSF is an efficient mobilization regimen in the majority of heavily pretreated patients, including those who have previously failed on high-dose cyclophosphamide with G-CSF. An etoposide dose of 1.6 g m(-2) appears to be as effective as higher doses but less toxic.