Maria Luisa Veronese

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States

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Publications (6)38.28 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BAY 43-9006 (sorafenib) is an inhibitor of Raf kinase, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2, and angiogenesis in tumor xenografts. The current study investigated the incidence, severity, and mechanism of blood pressure (BP) elevation in patients treated with BAY 43-9006. Twenty patients received BAY 43-9006 400 mg orally twice daily. BP and heart rate were measured at baseline and then every 3 weeks for 18 weeks. VEGF, catecholamines, endothelin I, urotensin II, renin, and aldosterone were measured at baseline and after 3 weeks of therapy. We assessed vascular stiffness at baseline, after 3 to 6 weeks of therapy, and again after 9 to 10 months of therapy. Fifteen (75%) of 20 patients experienced an increase of > or = 10 mmHg in systolic BP (SBP), and 12 (60%) of 20 patients experienced an increase of > or = 20 mmHg in SBP compared with their baseline value, with a mean change of 20.6 mmHg (P < .0001) after 3 weeks of therapy. There were no statistically significant changes in humoral factors, although there was a statistically significant inverse relationship between decreases in catecholamines and increases in SBP, suggesting a secondary response to BP elevation. Measures of vascular stiffness increased significantly during the period of observation. Treatment with BAY 43-9006 is associated with a significant and sustained increase in BP. The lack of significant change in circulating factors suggests that these humoral factors had little role in the increase in BP.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 03/2006; 24(9):1363-9. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CT-2103 (Cell Therapeutics, Seattle, Wash.) is a water-soluble macromolecular conjugate of paclitaxel to a polyglutamate backbone, designed to enhance tumor permeability and to improve intratumoral delivery of paclitaxel. Preclinical studies indicate that CT-2103 has substantial antitumor efficacy in xenograft tumor models. We performed a phase I trial in patients with advanced solid tumors to determine the maximum tolerated doses (MTD) of CT-2103 when administered as short intravenous infusion every 3 weeks. Seven patients received a total of 16 cycles (range 1-3) of CT-2103 at doses of 235 and 270 mg/m(2). Two of five patients treated at 235 mg/m(2) and one of two patients treated at 270 mg/m(2) experienced grade 3/4 neutropenia. Four patients experienced a marked increase in PTT within 30 min of the start of infusion. Neuropathy was more severe than expected. Two patients developed grade 3 neuropathy that prompted a 50% dose reduction of CT-2103 and persisted for 8 months in one, and over a year in the other. Three patients experienced grade 1 or 2 neuropathy. Neurotoxicity was cumulative and prevented patients from receiving prolonged administration of CT-2103. The unexpectedly high rate of cumulative toxicity observed in our study needs to be taken into consideration in future trials of CT-2103. Prior taxane use may not be a predictor of severe neurotoxicity.
    Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 06/2005; 55(5):497-501. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling contributes to the therapy of colorectal cancer. Gefitinib, an oral EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, shows supra-additive growth inhibition with irinotecan and fluoropyrimidines in xenograft models. We designed a study to determine the tolerability and efficacy of gefitinib in combination with irinotecan, infusional 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin (LV), on a 2-week schedule. Among 13 patients with advanced colorectal cancer, 10 required dose reductions of irinotecan and 5-FU because of dehydration, diarrhoea, and neutropenia, seven of whom required hospitalisation, three with neutropenic fever. One patient achieved partial response and seven had disease stabilisation. The combination of this standard chemotherapy regimen with gefitinib is associated with excessive toxicity, suggesting an interaction at a pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic level.
    British Journal of Cancer 06/2005; 92(10):1846-9. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gefitinib (Iressa; AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, DE) is an oral epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) with favorable toxicity and antitumor activity in pretreated patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the toxicity and efficacy of gefitinib in patients with advanced NSCLC treated at our institution as part of an expanded access protocol; 112 patients with advanced NSCLC were entered. All patients had failed at least one previous chemotherapy regimen, or were not suitable for any systemic chemotherapy because of poor performance status (PS), or were ineligible for other clinical trials. Therapy consisted of gefitinib 250 mg orally once daily; 10.5% (95% CI 5.3-17.9%) of patients achieved partial/minimal response (PR/MR) and 29.5% (95% CI 21.0-39.2%) had stable disease (SD), resulting in a disease control rate (PR/MR+SD) of 40% (95% CI 31-50%). The median duration of treatment for all patients was 12 weeks (range 2-116 weeks) and for patients achieving disease control 28 weeks (range 8-116). Nine patients received gefitinib for more than 1 year. Median survival was 30 weeks. Symptoms were improved in 36% of evaluable patients, and 64% of patients who achieved disease control experienced improvement of their disease related symptoms. Adverse events were generally mild and consisted mostly of skin rash (48%) and diarrhea (38%). A statistically significant association was observed between disease control and skin rash (p = < 0.001), nonsmoking status (p = 0.048), and symptom improvement (p = 0.001). The disease control rate was not statistically associated with histology, PS, gender, or number of prior treatments. In addition, longer survival was significantly associated with skin rash (p = < 0.001) and symptom improvement (p = < 0.001). Gefitinib demonstrated relevant clinical activity and a favorable toxicity profile in pretreated patients with advanced NSCLC. The development of toxicity was associated with a favorable response. In addition, a history of never having smoked seems to predict a higher efficacy of gefitinib.
    Cancer Investigation 01/2005; 23(4):296-302. · 2.24 Impact Factor
  • Maria Luisa Veronese, Peter J O'Dwyer
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    ABSTRACT: Monoclonal antibodies have been developed to target specific proteins involved in the development and progression of cancer. These reagents have the advantage of exquiste specificity, and as currently engineered, low toxicity. The impact monoclonal antibody therapy has recently been demonstrated in colorectal cancer, in which two pathways critical to carcinogenesis have been targeted. The targets are the epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathway and angiogenesis. Antibodies directed to proteins in both pathways have shown significant activity especially in combination with chemotherapy, and studies in the adjuvant setting are in progress. We review the use of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of colorectal cancer with particular attention to edrecolomab (Mab 17-1A), bevacizumab (Avastin), cetuximab (IMC-C225), ABX-EGF and EMD 72000. Additional compounds are in earlier stages of development, and the future of this approach in solid tumours is promising.
    European Journal of Cancer 07/2004; 40(9):1292-301. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: UFT (BMS-200604, Uftoral) is an oral fluoropyrimidine that combines uracil and the 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) prodrug, ftorafur, in a 4:1 molar ratio with single-agent activity in breast and gastrointestinal cancers. In vitro studies have shown that irinotecan downregulates thymidylate synthase (TS) expression in tumour cells, leading to synergy between irinotecan and 5-FU that is maximal when irinotecan is given 24 h prior to 5-FU. Given this observed synergy and the confirmatory clinical activity of combination therapy with 5-FU, leucovorin (LV) and irinotecan, we performed a phase I trial to determine the maximum tolerated doses (MTD) of UFT, LV, and irinotecan. Treatment consisted of irinotecan administered as a 90-min intravenous (i.v.) infusion on day 1 followed by twice daily oral UFT/LV on days 2-15, repeated every 21 days. Initial doses were irinotecan 200 mg/m(2) and UFT 200 mg/m(2)/day, with LV dose fixed at 60 mg/day. 31 patients received a total of 130 cycles of UFT/LV and irinotecan. 3 of 9 patients experienced grade 3/4 diarrhoea at the highest dose level of irinotecan 310 mg/m(2) and UFT 300 mg/m(2)/day. Other toxicities included neutropenia, anaemia, alopecia, nausea/vomiting and fatigue. Further dose escalation was not pursued since this level of toxicity was appropriate for future phase II study. One patient with colorectal cancer experienced a partial response and 9 patients with non-small cell lung, colorectal and gastro-oesophageal junction carcinomas had disease stabilisation lasting 4-26 (median 6) cycles. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T genotype was analysed in peripheral mononuclear cells (PMNs) obtained from 24 patients. 2 patients had the homozygous TT polymorphism and 1 of them had grade 3 diarrhoea at the first dose level. Irinotecan on day 1 followed by a 14-day course of oral UFT/LV beginning on day 2 is well tolerated, and suitable for testing in several tumour types. Doses recommended for further study on this schedule are irinotecan 310 mg/m(2) and UFT 300 mg/m(2)/day, with LV 60 mg/day.
    European Journal of Cancer 04/2004; 40(4):508-14. · 5.06 Impact Factor