Background: The vascular disrupting agent combretastatin-A4-phosphate (CA4P) demonstrated antitumour activity in preclinical studies when combined with radiation.
Methods: Patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), prostate adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) received 27 Gy in 6 fractions treating twice weekly over 3 weeks, 55 Gy in 20 fractions over 4 weeks, and 66 Gy in 33 fractions over 6 weeks respectively. CA4P was escalated from 50 mg/m2 to 63 mg/m2. CA4P exposure was further increased from one to three to six doses. Patients with SCCHN received cetuximab in addition.
Results: Thirty-nine patients received 121 doses of CA4P. Dose-limiting toxic effects (DLTs) of reversible ataxia and oculomotor nerve palsy occurred in two patients with prostate cancer receiving weekly CA4P at 63 mg/m2. DLT of cardiac ischaemia occurred in two patients with SCCHN at a weekly dose of 50 mg/m2 in combination with cetuximab. Three patients developed grade 3 hypertension. Responses were seen in 7 of 18 patients with NSCLC. At 3 years, 3 of 18 patients with prostate cancer had prostate-specific antigen relapse.
Conclusions: Radiotherapy with CA4P appears well tolerated in most patients. The combination of CA4P, cetuximab, and radiotherapy needs further scrutiny before it can be recommended for clinical studies.