Phase II trial of gallium nitrate in previously treated patients with small cell lung cancer
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Gallium nitrate is a group IIIa metal that was found to be active in animal species . Gallium nitrate exerts its antitumor effects via a transferrin binding mechanism . This agent is of interest in small cell lung cancer since 26 of 27 small cell carcinoma cell lines tested had increased levels of transferrin receptors . In a phase I study using a continuous infusion, the dose limiting toxicity was nausea when gallium nitrate was given at doses of 400 mg/m2/day. Other effects included elevations of serum creatinine, hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia, decreased hearing and paresthesias . Activity has been seen in pretreated patients with malignant lymphoma, bladder carcinoma and small numbers of patients with small cell lung carcinoma [4, 5]. To determine the activity of continuous infusion gallium nitrate, this phase II trial was undertaken in patients with small cell lung cancer previously treated with chemotherapy.