A phase I dose-escalation trial of transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE) with idarubicin-loaded beads was performed in cirrhotic patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).Aim
To estimate the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and to assess safety, efficacy, pharmacokinetics and quality of life.Methods
Patients received a single TACE session with injection of 2 mL drug-eluting beads (DEBs; DC Bead 300–500 μm) loaded with idarubicin. The idarubicin dose was escalated according to a modified continuous reassessment method. MTD was defined as the dose level closest to that causing dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) in 20% of patients.Results
Twenty-one patients were enrolled, including nine patients at 5 mg, six patients at 10 mg, and six patients at 15 mg. One patient at each dose level experienced DLT (acute myocardial infarction, hyperbilirubinaemia and elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) at 5-, 10- and 15-mg, respectively). The calculated MTD of idarubicin was 10 mg. The most frequent grade ≥3 adverse events were pain, elevated AST, elevated γ-glutamyltranspeptidase and thrombocytopenia. At 2 months, the objective response rate was 52% (complete response, 28%, and partial response, 24%) by modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours. The median time to progression was 12.1 months (95% CI 7.4 months – not reached); the median overall survival was 24.5 months (95% CI 14.7 months – not reached). Pharmacokinetic analysis demonstrated the ability of DEBs to release idarubicin slowly.Conclusions
Using drug-eluting beads, the maximum-tolerated dose of idarubicin was 10 mg per TACE session. Encouraging responses and median time to progression were observed. Further clinical investigations are warranted (NCT01040559).