Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 82, Issue 3, pp 493–503 | Cite as

A phase I study of panobinostat in pediatric patients with refractory solid tumors, including CNS tumors

  • Paul J. WoodEmail author
  • Robyn Strong
  • Grant A. McArthur
  • Michael Michael
  • Elizabeth Algar
  • Andrea Muscat
  • Lin Rigby
  • Melissa Ferguson
  • David M. Ashley
Original Article



This was an open label, phase I (3 + 3 design), multi-centre study evaluating panobinostat in pediatric patients with refractory solid tumors.


Primary endpoints were to establish MTD, define and describe associated toxicities, including dose limiting toxicities (DLT) and to characterize its pharmacokinetics (PK). Secondary endpoints included assessing the anti-tumour activity of panobinostat, and its biologic activity, by measuring acetylation of histones in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.


Nine patients were enrolled and treated with intravenous panobinostat at a dosing level of 15 mg/m2 which was tolerated. Six were evaluable for adverse events. Two (33%) patients experienced Grade 3–4 thrombocytopenia, 1 (17%) experienced Grade 3 anemia, and 2 (33%) experienced Grade 3 neutropenia. Grade 4 drug related pain occurred in 2 (33%) of the patients studied. Two (33%) patients experienced a Grade 2 QTcF change (0.478 ± 0.006 ms). One cardiac DLT (T wave changes) was reported. PK values for 15 mg/m2 (n = 9) dosing were: Tmax 0.8 h, Cmax 235.2 ng/mL, AUC0–t 346.8 h ng/mL and t1/2 7.3 h. Panobinostat significantly induced acetylation of histone H3 and H4 at all time points measured when compared to pre-treatment samples (p < 0.05). Pooled quantitative Western blot data confirmed that panobinostat significantly induced acetylation of histone H4 at 6 h (p < 0.01), 24 h (p < 0.01) and 28–70 h (p < 0.01) post dose.


A significant biological effect of panobinostat, measured by acetylation status of histone H3 and H4, was achieved at a dose of 15 mg/m2. PK data and drug tolerability at 15 mg/m2 was similar to that previously published.


Phase I Panobinostat Pediatric Refractory Relapsed Biomarkers 



This research would not have been possible without the generous support of the You Are My Sunshine (YAMS) Foundation and the Kathleen Tinsley Fellowship.


This trial was sponsored by the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology and Oncology Group (ANZCHOG), 27 - 31 Wright Street, Clayton, VIC, 3168, Australia. This trial was supported by unrestricted funding and drug supply from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Australia PTY Ltd., 54 Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park, NSW, 2113, Australia.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Human and animal rights statement

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Patient and/or their legal guardians must have signed a written informed consent form.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Children’s Cancer CentreMonash Children’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Molecular Oncology and Translational Research LaboratoryPeter MacCallum Cancer CentreMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Australian & New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group (ANZCHOG)MelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.Department of MedicineSt. Vincent’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  6. 6.Division of Cancer MedicinePeter MacCallum Cancer CentreMelbourneAustralia
  7. 7.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  8. 8.Hudson Institute of Medical ResearchMelbourneAustralia
  9. 9.Deakin University, School of MedicineGeelongAustralia
  10. 10.Murdoch Children’s Research InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  11. 11.The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor CenterDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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