Investigational New Drugs (INVEST NEW DRUG )

Publisher: Springer Verlag


The development of new anticancer agents is one of the most rapidly changing aspects of cancer research. Investigational New Drugs provides a forum for the rapid dissemination of information on new anticancer agents. The papers published are of interest to the medical chemist toxicologist pharmacist pharmacologist biostatistician and clinical oncologist. Investigational New Drugs provides the fastest possible publication of new discoveries and results for the whole community of scientists developing anticancer agents. Each issue contains original articles dealing with anticancer drug development. Other sections are devoted to invited review articles and letters to the editor. The journal also affords the opportunity to publish the proceedings of special workshops and symposia devoted to the development of new anticancer agents. Provided they add to the understanding of the investigational agents the journal is not adverse to publishing clinical trials with negative results. Investigational New Drugs cuts across all the usual lines or subdisciplines providing a locus for the presentation of relevant investigations and the discussion of critical questions appropriate to the entire field of new anticancer drug development.

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ibrutinib (formerly PCI-32765) is a specific, irreversible, and potent inhibitor of Burton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) developed for the treatment of several forms of blood cancer. It is now an FDA-approved drug marketed under the name Imbruvica(TM) (Pharmacyclics, Inc.) and successfully used as an orally administered second-line drug in the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma. Since BTK is predominantly expressed in hematopoietic cells, the sensitivity of solid tumor cells to Ibrutinib has not been analyzed. In this study, we determined the effect of Ibrutinib on breast cancer cells. We demonstrate that Ibrutinib efficiently reduces the phosphorylation of the receptor tyrosine kinases ErbB1, ErbB2 and ErbB3, thereby suppressing AKT and MAPK signaling in ErbB2-positive (ErbB2+) breast cancer cell lines. Treatment with Ibrutinib significantly reduced the viability of ErbB2+ cell lines with IC50 values at nanomolar concentrations, suggesting therapeutic potential of Ibrutinib in breast cancer. Combined treatment with Ibrutinib and the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 synergistically reduces cell viability of ErbB2+ breast cancer cells. Combination indices below 0.25 at 50 % inhibition of cell viability were determined by the Chou-Talalay method. Therefore, the combination of Ibrutinib and canonical PI3K pathway inhibitors could be a new and effective approach in the treatment of breast cancer with activated ErbB receptors. Ibrutinib could thus become a valuable component of targeted therapy in aggressive ErbB2+ breast cancer.
    Investigational New Drugs 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Resistance of cancer cells towards chemotherapy is the major cause of therapy failure. Hence, the evaluation of cellular defense mechanisms is essential in the establishment of new chemotherapeutics. Archazolid B, a novel vacuolar H(+)-ATPase inhibitor, displayed cytotoxicity in the low nanomolar range on a panel of different tumor cell lines. First, we investigated tumor-specific cytotoxicity of archazolid B by comparing cancer to non-cancer cells. Breast, liver and colon cancer cells displayed higher drug sensitivity than corresponding non-tumorous cells, whereas leukemia cell lines were as sensitive as peripheral mononuclear blood cells. Investigating classical drug resistance mechanisms, archazolid B was identified as a possible substrate of the ABC transporters ABCB1 (P-glycoprotein) and ABCG2 (BCRP), whereas collateral sensitivity was observed in ABCB5-expressing cells. Our results pointed to a possible binding competition of archazolid B with verapamil on P-glycoprotein. However, archazolid B did not reverse resistance towards doxorubicin indicating that it might be a substrate but not an inhibitor of P-glycoprotein mediated transport. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity of archazolid B was independent of the p53 status of the cell. Mechanisms of aquired resistance were investigated establishing an archazolid B-resistant MCF-7 cell line. Interestingly, drug resistance was not conferred by aberrant expression or DNA mutations of the gene encoding vacuolar H(+)-ATPase subunit c, the direct target of archazolids. Instead, long-term treatment with archazolid B led to a slight overexpression of ABCB1 and a significant overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor and reduced cell growth, all of which can be assumed to contribute to archazolid B resistance.
    Investigational New Drugs 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Continuous efforts from scientists of diverse fields are necessary not only to better understand the mechanism by which multidrug resistant (MDR) cancer cells occur, but also to boost the discovery of new cytotoxic compounds. This work was designed to assess the cytotoxicity and the mechanism of action of flavonoids abyssinone IV (1), atalantoflavone (3) and neocyclomorusin (6) and isoflavonoids sigmoidin I (2), sophorapterocarpan A (4), bidwillon A (5) and 6α-hydroxyphaseollidin (7) isolated from Erythrina sigmoidea against nine drug sensitive and multidrug resistant (MDR) cancer cell lines. Methods The resazurin reduction assay was used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of the studied compounds whilst caspase-Glo assay was used to detect the activation of caspases enzymes by 1, 2, 4 and 7. Cell cycle, mitochondrial membrane potential and levels of reactive oxygen species were all analyzed via flow cytometry. Results The pterocarpan isoflavonoid 7 displayed the best antiproliferative activity with the IC50 values below 10 μM obtained on the nine tested cancer cell lines. The IC50 values below 50 μM were also recorded with compounds 1, 2 and 4 against the nine cancer cell lines whilst 3, 5 and 6 showed selective activities. The IC50 values varied from 14.43 μM (against MDA-MB-231-pcDNA cells) to 20.65 μM [towards HCT116 (p53 (+/+)) cells] for compound 1, from 4.24 μM (towards CCRF-CEM cells) to 30.98 μM (towards MDA-MB-231-BCRP cells) for 2, from 3.73 μM (towards CCRF-CEM cells) to 14.81 μM (against U87MG.ΔEGFR cells) for 4, from 3.36 μM (towards CCRF-CEM cells) to 6.44 μM (against HepG2 cells) for 7, and from 0.20 μM (against CCRF-CEM cells) and 195.12 μM (against CEM/ADR5000 cells) for the positive control drug, doxorubicin. Compared to their corresponding sensitive cell lines, collateral sensitivity was observed with HCT116 (p53 (-/-)) to 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 and with U87MG.ΔEGFR to 1 to 6. Compound 7 induced apoptosis in CCRF-CEM cells mediated by the activation of caspases 3/7, 8 and 9 and breakdown of MMP and increase in ROS production, whereas the apoptotic process induced by 1, 2 and 4 was mediated by the loss of MMP as well as increase in ROS production. Conclusions Compounds from Erythrina sigmoidea and mostly 6α-hydroxyphaseollidin are potential antiproliferative natural products that deserve more investigations to develop novel anticancer drugs against sensitive and otherwise drug-resistant phenotypes.
    Investigational New Drugs 07/2014;
  • Investigational New Drugs 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Afatinib, an irreversible ErbB family blocker, demonstrated synergistic inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor-mutant cell growth with pemetrexed. This phase I study investigated the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of afatinib plus pemetrexed in patients with advanced solid tumors. Methods In a 3 + 3 dose-escalation design, patients were given intravenous pemetrexed (500 mg/m(2)) on day 1 of a 21-day cycle (maximum 6 cycles), combined with continuous daily oral afatinib (schedule A [SA]; starting dose 30 mg, escalation to 50 mg) or pulsed-dose daily oral afatinib (schedule B [SB]; starting dose 50 mg, escalation to 70 mg) on days 1-6 of each 21-day cycle. Primary endpoint was determination of MTD based on dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) in cycle 1. Results Fifty-three patients were treated (SA: n = 23; SB: n = 30). Eight patients had DLTs in SA, 11 patients in SB; diarrhea and fatigue were the most common. MTD of afatinib was 30 mg in SA and 50 mg in SB. Six patients in SA and eight in SB completed 6 treatment cycles. One patient in each schedule had confirmed objective response; 18/53 patients had disease control (SA: n = 7; SB: n = 11). Most frequent drug-related adverse events were diarrhea, rash, fatigue, and stomatitis. No relevant pharmacokinetic interactions were observed. Conclusions Continuous- or pulsed-dose afatinib combined with pemetrexed exhibited a manageable safety profile. Pulsed dosing conferred no apparent safety or dose advantage. Continuous-dose afatinib 30 mg/day with pemetrexed is recommended for phase II studies.
    Investigational New Drugs 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) and its receptors have been implicated in a variety of cellular phenotypes related with tumorigenesis process. Human epidermal growth factor receptor family members (HER) such as EGFR and HER2 are involved in mitogenic signaling pathways implicated in the progression of prostate cancer. We analyzed the cross-talk between GHRH and EGF receptors in prostate cancer. The effects of GHRH in HER signaling were evaluated on human androgen-independent PC3 prostate cancer cells in vitro and GHRH antagonist in vitro and in nude mice xenografts of PC3 prostate cancer. Time-course studies indicated that GHRH had a stimulatory activity on both the expression of EGFR and HER2. GHRH analogues, JMR-132 and JV-1-38, endowed with antagonistic activity for GHRH receptors, abrogated the response to GHRH in PC3 cells. GHRH stimulated a rapid ligand-independent activation of EGFR and HER2 involving at least cAMP/PKA and Src family signaling pathways. GHRH also stimulated a slow ligand-dependent activation of EGFR and HER2 involving an extracellular pathway with an important role for ADAM. Preliminary results also revealed an increase of mRNA for GHRH and GHRH receptor induced by EGF. The inhibition of tumor growth, in vivo, was associated with a substantial reduction in the expression of mRNA and protein levels of EGFR and HER2 in the tumors. GHRH antagonist JV-1-38, significantly decreased the phosphorylated Src levels. The cross-talk between HER and GHRH-R may be impeded by combining drugs acting upon GHRH receptors and HER family members in human advanced prostate cancer.
    Investigational New Drugs 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Aldo-keto reductase 1C3 [AKR1C3;17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 5 (17βHSD5)], plays a crucial role in persistent production of androgens despite castration, by catalysing conversion of the adrenal androgens dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione (AD) into androstenediol and testosterone (T). Hence, AKR1C3 is a promising therapeutic target in castration-resistant prostate cancer, as combination of an AKR1C3 inhibitor and a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue may lead to complete androgen blockade. This study describes the preclinical characterisation of the novel AKR1C3 inhibitor ASP9521. Methods The inhibitory effect of ASP9521 on AKR1C3-mediated conversion from AD into T was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo, using CWR22R xenografted mice. The effect of ASP9521 on PSA production and cell proliferation was tested using LNCaP cells stably expressing human AKR1C3 (LNCaP-AKR1C3). Pharmacokinetics of ASP9521 were studied in rats, dogs and cynomolgus monkeys. Results ASP9521 inhibited conversion of AD into T by recombinant human or cynomolgus monkey AKR1C3 in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50,human: 11 nmol/L; IC50,monkey: 49 nmol/L). ASP9521 showed >100-fold selectivity for AKR1C3 over the isoform AKR1C2. In LNCaP-AKR1C3 cells, ASP9521 suppressed AD-dependent PSA production and cell proliferation. In CWR22R xenografts, single oral administration of ASP9521 (3 mg/kg) inhibited AD-induced intratumoural T production and this inhibitory effect was maintained for 24 h. After oral administration, ASP9521 was rapidly eliminated from plasma, while its intratumoural concentration remained high. The bioavailability of ASP9521 after oral administration (1 mg/kg) was 35 %, 78 % and 58 % in rats, dogs and monkeys, respectively. Conclusions ASP9521 is a potent, selective, orally bioavailable AKR1C3 inhibitor.
    Investigational New Drugs 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Preclinical evidence supports synergy between the vascular disrupting agent ombrabulin and various chemotherapy agents. Ombrabulin was combined with two standard taxane/platinum doublets in a phase I study to determine the recommended combination doses. Methods Ombrabulin (30-min infusion, day 1 every 3 weeks) was escalated from 15.5 to 35 mg/m(2) with two chemotherapy doublets; OCD, 75 mg/m(2) cisplatin (C), day 1 (cohort 1) or day 2 (cohort 2) with 60/75 mg/m(2) docetaxel (D), day 2; and OCP, AUC5/6 carboplatin (C) and paclitaxel (P) 175 mg/m(2) (cohort 3) or 200 mg/m(2) (cohort 4), day 2. Safety, pharmacokinetics, and tumor response were evaluated. Results Sixty-nine patients were treated (32 OCD, 37 OCP). Four had DLTs in cycle 1, two in cohort 1 (grade 4 febrile neutropenia, grade 4 pulmonary embolism) and one each in cohorts 2 (grade 3 ALT elevation) and 4 (grade 3 peripheral ischemia). Ombrabulin escalation in cohorts 2, 3 and 4 was halted at the highest planned dose (35 mg/m(2)). Asthenia, nausea, paresthesia, alopecia, vomiting, and stomatitis were common, as was grade 3-4 neutropenia. Ombrabulin clearance was high with a short terminal half-life and a medium volume of distribution. Pharmacokinetic analysis showed no clinically relevant drug interactions between the taxane-platinum doublet and ombrabulin or its active metabolite RPR258063, however docetaxel and carboplatin pharmacokinetics were slightly altered. One complete and 15 partial responses (10 OCD, 5 OCP; median duration 5.5 and 4.4 months, respectively) were reported. Conclusions The addition of ombrabulin to standard doses of cisplatin/docetaxel or carboplatin/paclitaxel proved feasible with manageable overlapping toxicities but appears to have limited impact on the efficacy of these doublets. Recommended combination doses are 35 mg/m(2) ombrabulin with 75 mg/m(2) cisplatin/75 mg/m(2) docetaxel or 200 mg/m(2) paclitaxel/AUC6 carboplatin, every 3 weeks.
    Investigational New Drugs 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Bcl-2 family proteins are the key regulators of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway, controlling the point-of no-return and setting the threshold to engage the death machinery in response to chemical damage. Bcl-2 proteins have emerged as attractive targets for anti-cancer drug development. Navitoclax is a selective, potent, orally bioavailable, small molecule Bcl-2 inhibitor. Primary endpoints assessed the safety and pharmacokinetic (PK) interactions between navitoclax in combination with carboplatin/paclitaxel or paclitaxel alone in patients with solid tumors The study comprised two arms, one a combination of navitoclax with paclitaxel and carboplatin, the second with navitoclax and paclitaxel alone. Nineteen patients were enrolled in this study. The most frequently reported treatment-emergent AEs were alopecia (57.9 %), anemia (52.6 %), nausea (52.6 %), constipation (42.1 %), diarrhea (42.1 %), fatigue (42.1 %), neutropenia (36.8 %), thrombocytopenia (36.8 %), vomiting (31.6 %), decreased appetite (31.6 %), dehydration (26.3 %), and hypomagnesaemia (26.3 %). In the light of significant hematological and non-hematological toxicity the study was ended before de-escalation of navitoclax. Only one partial response was obtained at any dose tested, thus lowering doses could not have increased efficacy. It is the combination of toxicity with modest efficacy that led to discontinuation. No apparent PK interaction was observed between navitoclax and carboplatin or paclitaxel and the combination of navitoclax and paclitaxel had modest anti-tumor activity.
    Investigational New Drugs 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Preclinical and early clinical data support the use of Vascular Epithelial Growth Factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy with trastuzumab in Human Epidermal Receptor 2 (HER2) positive breast cancer. Adding bevacizumab to a taxane (docetaxel or paclitaxel) improves progression free survival (PFS) of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. Objectives We evaluated the efficacy and feasibility of combining bevacizumab with trastuzumab and docetaxel in patients with HER2- positive MBC who received 0-1 prior chemotherapy regimens for metastatic disease. The primary end point was PFS. Materials and Methods Eligible patients received bevacizumab (15 mg/kg), trastuzumab (8 mg/kg loading dose followed by 6 mg/kg), and docetaxel (100 mg/m2 initially, later amended to 75 mg/m2) every three weeks for six cycles and then were allowed to receive bevacizumab and trastuzumab alone. Results Thirteen (50 %) of 26 patients enrolled completed all 6 cycles of bevacizumab, trastuzumab and docetaxel and went on to receive bevacizumab and trastuzumab alone (median: 11 cycles). The most common grade 3 or 4 toxicities include: neutropenia (8 %), septic death (4 %), infection not associated with neutropenia (15 %), fatigue (27 %), mylagia and/or arthraligia (20 %), and hand-foot syndrome (8 %). One patient (4 %) and six patients (23 %) developed grade 3 and grade 2 hypertension, respectively. Two (8 %) patients had transient grade 2 drop in Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction (LVEF) with full recovery later. The median progression free survival (PFS) was 14.3 months (95 % CI: 9.3-35 months), the objective response rate (ORR), defined as the best response of complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) was (12/26) 46 %. The clinical benefit rate (CBR), defined as the best response of CR or PR or stable disease (SD) for at least 24 weeks, was (18/26) 69 % (95 % CI: 48-86 %). Conclusion The combination of bevacizumab, trastuzumab and docetaxel is well tolerated and is clinically active in patients with HER2-positive MBC, with response rate and PFS comparable to previous reports utilizing higher dose of docetaxel (100 mg/m2). Recent randomized trials did not demonstrate additional overall survival (OS) benefit of adding bevacizumab to trastuzumab and docetaxel despite an improvement in PFS. Identification of predictive biomarkers and careful patient selection should be incorporated in further investigation of anti-VEGF in breast cancer.
    Investigational New Drugs 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background This phase 1b study evaluated an enteric-coated tablet (ECT) formulation of the investigational Aurora A kinase inhibitor, alisertib (MLN8237). Methods Patients with advanced, non-hematologic malignancies received oral alisertib ECT for 7 d BID followed by 14 d treatment-free (21-day cycles; 3 + 3 dose escalation schema). Objectives were to assess safety, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity, and to define a recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) of alisertib. Results 24 patients were treated. Median age was 57 years. Patients received a median of 2 cycles (range 1-12). The RP2D was determined as 50 mg BID for 7 d (21-day cycles). A cycle 1 dose-limiting toxicity of grade 4 febrile neutropenia was observed in 1 of 13 patients at RP2D. The most common drug-related adverse event (AE) was neutropenia (50 %). At doses ≥40 mg BID, 7 patients had drug-related AEs that were serious but largely reversible/manageable by dose reduction and supportive care, including 3 with febrile neutropenia. Pharmacokinetic data were available in 24 patients. Following administration of alisertib ECT, the plasma peak concentration of alisertib was achieved at ~3 h; systemic exposure increased with increasing dose over 10-60 mg BID. Mean t½ was ~21 h following multiple dosing. Renal clearance was negligible. Nine patients achieved stable disease (3.98*, 5.59, 1.28*, 2.56, 5.45*, 3.48, 3.15, 8.31, and 6.93* months; *censored). Conclusions Alisertib ECT was generally well tolerated in adults with advanced, non-hematologic malignancies. The RP2D is 50 mg BID for 7 d and is being evaluated in ongoing phase 2 studies.
    Investigational New Drugs 06/2014;
  • Investigational New Drugs 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background AZD8931 is an equipotent, reversible inhibitor of signaling by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), human EGFR 2 (HER2) and HER3. This two-part Japanese study (NCT01003158) assessed the safety/tolerability of AZD8931 monotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors and in combination with paclitaxel in female patients with advanced breast cancer. Methods Monotherapy part: ascending doses of AZD8931 (40/60/80 mg twice daily [bid]) for 21 consecutive days. Combination part: AZD8931 40 mg bid and paclitaxel 90 mg/m(2) (on days 1, 8 and 15 of a 28-day cycle). Results Seventeen patients received AZD8931: 11 received AZD8931 monotherapy (40/60/80 mg [n = 3/4/4]) and six AZD8931 40 mg bid plus paclitaxel. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed for AZD8931 alone or combined with paclitaxel. The most frequent adverse events (AEs) were diarrhea, paronychia, pustular rash and dry skin (each n = 8) with AZD8931 monotherapy and diarrhea, stomatitis, rash, alopecia, epistaxis and neutropenia (each n = 4) with combination therapy. Grade ≥3 AEs were reported for one, two and four patients in the 40 mg, 60 mg and combination groups, respectively. AZD8931 was rapidly absorbed with a half-life of 12 h. There was no evidence of pharmacokinetic interaction between AZD8931 and paclitaxel. Two patients (one in each part) had unconfirmed and confirmed partial responses, with a duration of 42 and 172 days, respectively. Conclusion Although maximum tolerated dose was not confirmed for AZD8931, based on overall incidence of rash and diarrhea AEs in the 80 mg group, doses up to 60 mg bid as monotherapy and 40 mg bid combined with paclitaxel are the feasible AZD8931 doses in Japanese patients.
    Investigational New Drugs 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Limited tumor penetrability of anti-cancer drugs is recognized as one of the major factors that lead to poor anti-tumor activity. SRJ09 (3,19-(2-bromobenzylidene) andrographolide) has been identified as a lead anti-cancer agent for colon cancer. Recently, this compound was shown by us to be a mutant K-Ras binder. In this present study, the penetrability of SRJ09 through the DLD-1 colon cancer multicell layer (MCL) was evaluated. The amount of SRJ09 that penetrated through the MCL was quantitated by utilizing high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Histopathological staining was used to visualize the morphology of MCL. A chemosensitivity assay was performed to assess the anti-cancer activity of SRJ09 in DLD-1 cells. SRJ09 was able to penetrate through DLD-1 MCL and is inversely proportional with the MCL thickness. The flow rates for SRJ09 through MCL were 0.90 ± 0.20 μM/min/cm(2) and 0.56 ± 0.06 μM/min/cm(2) for days 1 and 5, respectively, which are better than doxorubicin. Histopathological examination revealed that the integrity of the DLD-1 MCL was retained and no visible damage was inflicted on the cell membrane, confirming the penetration of SRJ09 was by diffusion. Short term exposure (1 h) in DLD-1 cells demonstrated SRJ09 had IC50 of 41 μM which was approximately 4-folds lower than andrographolide, the parent compound of SRJ09. In conclusion, SRJ09 successfully penetrated through DLD-1 MCL by diffusion and emerged as a potential candidate to be developed as a clinically viable anti-colon cancer drug.
    Investigational New Drugs 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background In the clinical development of oncology drugs, the recommended dose is usually determined using a 3 + 3 dose-escalation study design. However, this phase I design does not always adequately describe dose-toxicity relationships. Methods 125 patients, with either solid tumours or lymphoma, were included in the study and 1217 platelet counts were available over three treatment cycles. The data was used to build a population pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PKPD) model using a sequential modeling approach. Model-derived Recommended Doses (MDRD) of abexinostat (a Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor) were determined from simulations of different administration schedules, and the higher bound for the probability of reaching these MDRD with a 3 + 3 design were obtained. Results The PKPD model developed adequately described platelet kinetics in both patient populations with the inclusion of two platelet baseline counts and a disease progression component for patients with lymphoma. Simulation results demonstrated that abexinostat administration during the first 4 days of each week in a 3-week cycle led to a higher MDRD compared to the other administration schedules tested, with a maximum probability of 40 % of reaching these MDRDs using a 3 + 3 design. Conclusions The PKPD model was able to predict thrombocytopenia following abexinostat administration in both patient populations. A model-based approach to determine the recommended dose in phase I trials is preferable due to the imprecision of the 3 + 3 design.
    Investigational New Drugs 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Melanoma cell lines treated with decitabine show upregulation of cancer antigens, and interferon-α upregulates MHC Class I antigens in cancer cells, leading to enhanced T-cell recognition and T-cell mediated tumor apoptosis. We evaluated the synergy between the hypomethylating effects of decitabine and the immunomodulatory effects of interferon in a combination regimen administered to advanced melanoma patients in a phase 1 trial. Methods Patients with one prior systemic therapy were eligible. Using a modified 3 + 3 design, patients received escalating doses of decitabine and pegylated interferon α-2b (PEG-IFN) during every 28-day treatment cycle. Global DNA methylation was measured on days 1 and 5 of cycles 1 and 3. Cytokine profiling and quantification of T-cell subpopulations by FACS were performed at baseline and cycle 3. Results Seventeen patients were assigned to one of four dose levels. Decitabine 15 mg/m2/d + PEG-IFN 3 μg/kg was the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). Grade 3/4 cytopenias were seen across all dose levels: anemia (1), neutropenia (7), and thrombocytopenia (2). One patient remained progression-free for 37 weeks. The other 16 patients progressed at or before 12 weeks. Median overall survival was 39 weeks. Hypomethylation was seen at all dose levels. Due to treatment-induced lymphocytopenia, absolute changes in T-cell populations post-treatment were too small to be meaningfully interpreted. Conclusions The response to this combination regimen was characterized by significant myelosuppression, particularly neutropenia. Although disappointing efficacy and slow accrual led to early closure of the trial, hypomethylation showed pharmacodynamic evidence of a therapeutic effect of decitabine at all dose levels.
    Investigational New Drugs 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Angiogenesis is implicated in the pathophysiology and progression of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Vatalanib (PTK787/ZK222584; Novartis and Schering AG) inhibits receptor tyrosine kinases of vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet derived growth factor and c-Kit. We examined whether vatalanib induces hematological responses in MDS and/or delays progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or death. Methods: Two cohorts were studied. Vatalanib 1250 mg orally was given once daily (cohort 1) or 750–1250 mg once daily in an intra-patient dose escalating schedule (cohort 2) in 28-day cycles to 155 patients with MDS; 142 patients were evaluable for response and 153 for toxicity. Results: The median age was 70.5 years; 51 % had low risk (International Prognostic Scoring System {IPSS} Low/Intermediate-1) and 32 % had high risk (IPSS Intermediate-2/High) MDS. Hematological improvement was achieved in 7/142 (5 %) patients; all 7 were among the 47 patients able to remain on vatalanib for at least 3 months (hematological improvement achieved in 15 % of these 47 patients). For patients with low risk and high risk MDS, respectively, median progression-free survivals were 15 and 6 months, median times to transformation to AML were 28 and 6 months, and median overall survivals were 36 and 10 months. The most frequent non-hematological adverse events grade ≥2 were fatigue, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, anorexia, ataxia, diarrhea, and pain. Two deaths (one intra-cerebral hemorrhage and one sudden death) were possibly related to vatalanib. Conclusions: Vatalanib induces improvement in blood counts in a small proportion of MDS patients. Clinical applicability is limited by side effects.
    Investigational New Drugs 05/2013;