In a phase I study, ixabepilone, a novel non-taxane microtubule-stabilizing agent, demonstrated activity against both paclitaxel-sensitive and paclitaxel-refractory solid tumors. We conducted a phase II trial of this agent in patients with advanced germ cell tumors (GCT) who were resistant to conventional therapies.
Patients with cisplatin-refractory GCT were enrolled in this single-institution, phase II trial. Ixabepilone was administered at a dose of 40 mg/m2 intravenously over 3 hours every 21 days. Dose modifications were planned according to a nomogram for adverse events. Responses were assessed every 6 weeks using tumor markers and radiographic imaging according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). Patients who progressed (≥20% increase in tumor size or rising serum tumor markers) were taken off protocol.
Twenty-nine cycles of treatment were administered to 12 patients. The most common Grade 3/4 toxicities were leukopenia, lymphopenia, and neutropenia. One patient (8%) achieved a confirmed objective partial response but this patient had not received prior treatment with a taxane. Based on slow accrual and a lack of antitumor activity in patients previously treated with a taxane, the trial was closed after enrolling 12 patients.
For patients who had previously received taxane therapy, ixabepilone was not efficacious in the treatment of cisplatin-refractory GCT.