A phase I and pharmocokinetic study of exatecan mesylate administered as a protracted 21-day infusion in patients with advanced solid malignancies

Mitchell A. Garrison, Lisa A. Hammond, Charles E. Geyer, Garry Schwartz, Anthony W. Tolcher, Leslie Smetzer, Jose A. Figueroa, Murray Ducharme, John Coyle, Chris H. Takimoto, Robert L. De Jager, Eric K. Rowinsky

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19 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of administering exatecan, a water-soluble, potent camptothecin analogue, as a protracted 21-day continuous i.v. infusion (CIVI). The study also sought to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of exatecan on a 21-day CIVI schedule, characterize its pharmacokinetic behavior, and seek preliminary evidence of anticancer activity. Experimental Design: Exatecan dose-schedule development was performed in two stages using the modified Continual Reassessment Method and single patient cohorts. First, patients with advanced solid malignancies were treated with exatecan (0.15 mg/m2/day) as a CIVI for 5 days, and the duration of the CIVI was incrementally increased from 5 to 21 days. In the second stage of the study, the dose was incrementally increased to derive a tolerable dose of exatecan administered as 21-day CIVI. The MTD was defined for both minimally pretreated (MP) and heavily pretreated (HP) patients as the highest dose level at which the incidence of dose-limiting toxicity does not exceed 20%. Results: Thirty-one patients were treated with 100 courses of exatecan at 6 dose-schedule levels. The incidence of the principal dose-limiting toxicities, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, was unacceptably high at exatecan doses exceeding 0.15 mg/m2/day as a 21-day CIVI, which was determined to be the MTD for both MP and HP patients. The pharmacokinetics of exatecan were dose-proportional, and mean [coefficient of variation (percentage) steady-state concentration (plasma concentration at steady-state)] values ranged from 6.88 (80.6) to 19.41 (74.2) ng/ml at exatecan dose levels ranging from 0.15 to 0.30 mg/m2/day, which are similar to IC50 values against human tumor cell lines treated for shorter periods. Mean pharamacokinetic parameters for total exatecan derived from a compartmental model included clearance and volume of distribution values of 1.39 (86.9) liters/h/m2 and 39.66 (197.4) liters, respectively. Two HP patients with non-small cell lung and unknown primary carcinomas had partial responses, and objective evidence of anticancer activity and clinical benefit were noted in several other individuals. Conclusions: The administration of exatecan as a 21-day CIVI at doses as high as 0.15 mg/m2/day is safe and feasible for both MP and HP patients. The characteristics of the myelosuppressive effects of exatecan on this schedule, the paucity of severe nonhematological toxicities, and documented anticancer activity in several drug-refractory malignancies warrant further evaluation of the merits of administering exatecan by either a CIVI or alternate drug delivery systems to achieve protracted systemic exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2527-2537
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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