A multicenter phase II trial of 3-aminopyridine-2-carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone (3-AP, Triapine®) and gemcitabine in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer with pharmacokinetic evaluation using peripheral blood mononuclear cells
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Background: We tested the hypothesis that 3-aminopyridine-2-carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone (3-AP, Triapine®) may enhance response to re-treatment with gemcitabine by enhancing intracellular uptake of gemcitabine in a phase II study. Method: Patients who had prior exposure to gemcitabine as a first-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were given weekly infusions of 3-AP and gemcitabine for 3 weeks followed by 1 week of rest, repeated every 28 days. Plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected to evaluate the effect of 3-AP on pharmacokinetics and intracellular uptake of gemcitabine. Result: Twelve patients were treated with a median of two treatment cycles without objective response, hence the study was terminated at interim analysis. Four patients had stable disease and the median time to progression was 3 months (95% confidence interval, CI: 1.7 to 9.1 months). Grade 3 toxicities included neutropenia (two patients), hypoxia (three patients) and dyspnea (one patient). Four patients developed reversible symptomatic methemoglobinemia during 3-AP infusion, with mild to moderately elevated methemoglobin levels that ranged from 7.8 to 17.6% of the total hemoglobin concentration. Limited pharmacokinetic data did not suggest any clinically relevant pharmacological influence of 3-AP on gemcitabine. Conclusion: 3-AP did not enhance clinical response to gemcitabine in this cohort of patients with prior exposure to gemcitabine for advanced NSCLC. Further development of 3-AP in lung cancer is challenged by its potential of causing methemoglobinemia and hypoxia, which could be problematic in patients with compromised pulmonary reserves.
KeywordsTriapine 3-AP Gemcitabine Non-small-cell lung cancer Methemoglobinemia
This study was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, USA (NCI protocol #6256).
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