, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 727-733

A phase I trial of gemcitabine in combination with patupilone in patients with advanced solid tumors

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Abstract

Introduction

Chemotherapy regimens including gemcitabine in combination with microtubule inhibitors such as docetaxel and paclitaxel have wide clinical application. Patupilone is a novel tubulin-polymerizing agent with activity against paclitaxel-resistant cell lines. We conducted a phase I trial to assess the maximum tolerated dose, dose limiting toxicity (DLT) and antitumor activity of gemcitabine and patupilone.

Methods

Patients with refractory solid tumors enrolled in cohorts of three. Cohorts received fixed doses of gemcitabine (1,000 or 750 mg/m2) along with escalating doses of patupilone (1.5–3 mg/m2) on days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle.

Results

Twenty-seven patients received a total of 99 courses of treatment on study. Hematologic toxicity in the first cohort required a modification of the protocol to decrease the gemcitabine dose. Subsequent patients received gemcitabine 750 mg/m2 and escalating doses of patupilone from 1.5 to 3 mg/m2. DLTs were grade 3 asthenia and grade 3 dehydration. There was also one treatment-related death due to neutropenic infection. Other clinically significant toxicities were persistent asthenia and persistent nausea. Four patients, one each with pancreatic cancer, esophageal carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder carcinoma, experienced a partial response.

Conclusions

The dose-limiting toxicities of gemcitabine and patupilone were asthenia and dehydration. Dose reductions also occurred due to persistent fatigue that was not dose-limiting. However, patients with advanced malignancies were able to tolerate gemcitabine and patupilone at doses that resulted in clinical benefit. The recommended phase II dose for this schedule is gemcitabine 750 mg/m2 and patupilone 1.5 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle.