Phase I dose-escalation study of plitidepsin in combination with sorafenib or gemcitabine in patients with refractory solid tumors or lymphomas

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Abstract

This phase I trial evaluated the combination of the marine-derived cyclodepsipeptide plitidepsin (trade name Aplidin) with sorafenib or gemcitabine in advanced cancer and lymphoma patients. The study included two treatment arms: a sorafenib/plitidepsin (S/P) and a gemcitabine/plitidepsin (G/P) arm. In the S/P arm, patients were treated orally with sorafenib continuous dosing at two dose levels (DL1: 200 mg twice daily and DL2: 400 mg twice daily) combined with plitidepsin (1.8 mg/m2, day 1, day 8, day 15, and, q4wk, intravenously). In the G/P arm, patients with solid tumors or lymphoma were treated at four different DLs with a combination of gemcitabine (DL1: 750 mg/m2, DL2–DL4: 1000 mg/m2) and plitidepsin (DL1–DL2: 1.8 mg/m2; DL3: 2.4 mg/m2; DL4: 3 mg/m2). Both agents were administered intravenously on day 1, day 8, day 15, and, q4wk. Forty-four patients were evaluable for safety and toxicity. The safety of the combination of plitidepsin with sorafenib or gemcitabine was manageable. Most adverse events (AEs) were mild; no grade 4 treatment-related AEs were reported in any of the groups (except for one grade 4 thrombocytopenia in the gemcitabine arm). The most frequently reported study drug-related (or of unknown relationship) AEs were palmar–plantar erythrodysesthesia, erythema, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue in the S/P arm and nausea, fatigue, and vomiting in the G/P arm. In the S/P arm, one dose-limiting toxicity occurred in two out of six patients treated at the maximum dose tested (DL2): palmar–plantar erythrodysesthesia and grade 2 aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase increase that resulted in omission of days 8 and 15 plitidepsin infusions. In the G/P arm, one dose-limiting toxicity occurred in two out of six patients at DL4: grade 2 alanine aminotransferase increase resulted in omission of days 8 and 15 plitidepsin infusions and grade 4 thrombocytopenia. The recommended dose for the combination of plitidepsin with sorafenib was not defined because of a sponsor decision (no expansion cohort to confirm) and for plitidepsin with gemcitabine, it was 2.4 mg/m2 plitidepsin with 1000 mg/m2 gemcitabine. In the S/P group, objective disease responses were not observed; however, disease stabilization (≥3months) was observed in four patients. In the gemcitabine group, two lymphoma patients showed an objective response (partial response and complete response) and nine patients showed disease stabilization (≥3months). Combining plitidepsin with gemcitabine and sorafenib is feasible for advanced cancer patients; some objective responses were observed in heavily pretreated lymphoma patients.

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