LK Dawson, DI Jodrell, A Bowman, R Rye, B Byrne, A Bernareggi, G Camboni, JF Smyth
Eur J Cancer
The anthracenedione analogue, BBR 2778 is an active antitumour agent preclinically and has reduced potential for cardiotoxicity compared with other similar drugs in preclinical models. BBR 2778 was administered 3 weekly by a 1 h intravenous (i.v.) infusion to 24 patients and the dose escalated rapidly from 20 to 240 mg/m2. The dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was neutropenia, common toxicity criteria (CTC) grade 4 in 3/5 patients at 240 mg/m2. Other toxicities > or = CTC grade 3 were: vomiting, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia and lethargy. Blue discoloration of veins and urine was also noted. In 1 patient (120 mg/m2, four cycles) left ventricular ejection reaction (LVEF) fell (CTC grade 2) but with no clinical sequelae. BBR 2778 plasma pharmacokinetics were biphasic (mean t(1/2) at 180 mg/m2 = 14.1 h) and the urinary elimination of the unchanged drug was < 10%. In a patient with previously treated small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC), a 49% reduction in measurable disease was noted with resolution of pericardial and pleural effusions (120 mg/m2 x eight cycles). From the results of this phase I study a dose of 180 mg/m2 as a 1 h infusion every 3 weeks would be recommended for phase II trials.