Results of a Phase I trial of sorafenib (BAY 43-9006) in combination with doxorubicin in patients with refractory solid tumors

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Sorafenib (BAY 43-9006), a novel, oral multi-kinase inhibitor, blocks serine/threonine and receptor tyrosine kinases in the tumor and vasculature. Sorafenib demonstrated single-agent activity in Phase I studies, and was tolerated and inhibited tumor growth in combination with doxorubicin in preclinical studies. This Phase I dose-escalation study determined the safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of sorafenib plus doxorubicin.

Patients and methods

Thirty-four patients with refractory, solid tumors received doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 on Day 1 of 3-week cycles, and oral sorafenib from Day 4 of Cycle 1 at 100, 200 or 400 mg bid.


Common drug-related adverse events were neutropenia (56%), hand–foot skin reaction (44%), stomatitis (32%), and diarrhea (32%). The maximum tolerated dose was not reached. One patient with pleural mesothelioma achieved a partial response (modified WHO criteria) and remained on therapy for 39.7 weeks. Fifteen patients (48%) achieved stable disease for ≥12 weeks. Doxorubicin exposure increased moderately with sorafenib 400 mg bid. The pharmacokinetics of sorafenib and doxorubicinol were not affected.


Sorafenib 400 mg bid plus doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 was well tolerated. The increased doxorubicin exposure with sorafenib 400 mg bid did not result in significantly increased toxicity; low patient numbers make the clinical significance of this unclear. These promising efficacy results justify further clinical investigation.

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