Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 181–188 | Cite as

Phase I trial of weekly trabectedin (ET-743) and gemcitabine in patients with advanced solid tumors

  • Wells A. Messersmith
  • Antonio Jimeno
  • David Ettinger
  • Dan Laheru
  • Julie Brahmer
  • Dina Lansey
  • Yasmin Khan
  • Ross C. Donehower
  • Yusri Elsayed
  • Peter Zannikos
  • Manuel Hidalgo
Clinical Trial Report



To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of trabectedin plus gemcitabine administered on a weekly schedule in patients with advanced solid tumors.


Patients with ECOG performance status 0–1 and adequate organ function were enrolled. On days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle, patients received gemcitabine (starting dose, 800 mg/m2) followed by trabectedin (starting dose, 0.3 mg/m2). Strict liver function test treatment criteria were employed to avoid hepatic toxicity seen in previous trabectedin studies. Plasma samples were collected during cycles 1 and 2 for pharmacokinetic analyses.


Fifteen patients received ≥1 dose, with a median of two treatment cycles (range 1–10). The most common drug-related toxicity was hepatic. Dose reductions were required for trabectedin in four (27%) patients and gemcitabine in six (40%) patients. Cycle delays/dose holds were required in 11 (73%) patients and doses above trabectedin 0.4 mg/m2 and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2, which is the recommended phase II dose, were not feasible. Seven patients maintained stable disease after two cycles. Gemcitabine and trabectedin pharmacokinetics were not altered substantially with concomitant administration.


Given the lack of pharmacokinetic interaction and potential efficacy of trabectedin and gemcitabine combination therapy, further study is warranted with alternate schedules.


Dose-finding Phase I Gemcitabine Pharmacokinetics Trabectedin 



This clinical trial (Study ET-743-USA-7) was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., Raritan, NJ and PharmaMar S.A.U., Madrid, Spain. We would like to thank Tom Verhaeghe for overseeing the bioanalysis of trabectedin and gemcitabine. We would also like to thank Lisa Shannon, PharmD, of Scientific Connexions, for providing medical co-writing and editing services.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wells A. Messersmith
    • 1
  • Antonio Jimeno
    • 2
  • David Ettinger
    • 2
  • Dan Laheru
    • 2
  • Julie Brahmer
    • 2
  • Dina Lansey
    • 2
  • Yasmin Khan
    • 2
  • Ross C. Donehower
    • 2
  • Yusri Elsayed
    • 3
  • Peter Zannikos
    • 3
  • Manuel Hidalgo
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Colorado Cancer CenterAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C.RaritanUSA

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