Phase II study of weekly plitidepsin as second-line therapy for small cell lung cancer

Tim Eisen, Nick Thatcher, Serge Leyvraz, Wilson H. Miller, Felix Couture, Paul Lorigan, François Lüthi, David Small, Adnan Tanovic, Mary O'Brien

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    Objective: To evaluate the antitumor activity and safety profile of plitidepsin administered as a 1 h weekly intravenous (i.v.) infusion of 3.2 mg/m2 to patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) who relapsed or progressed after one line of chemotherapy. Patients and methods: This was a multicenter, open-label, single-arm, exploratory, phase II clinical trial. Treatment lasted until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, patient refusal or treatment delay for >2 weeks. Objective response rate (primary efficacy endpoint) was evaluated according to response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST). The rate of stable disease (SD) lasting for at least 6 months and time-to-event variables were secondary endpoints of efficacy. Toxicity was assessed using National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria (NCI-CTC) version 2.0. Results: Twenty pretreated SCLC patients (median age, 60 years) with extensive (n = 13) or limited-stage disease (n = 7) received a total of 24 treatment cycles (median, one cycle per patient; range, 1-2). Objective tumor responses were not observed and only one of the 17 evaluable patients had SD. With a median follow-up of 11.8 months, the progression-free survival and the median overall survival were 1.3 months and 4.8 months, respectively. The most troubling or common toxicities were fatigue, muscle weakness, lymphopenia, anemia (no patients showed neutropenia), and asymptomatic, non-cumulative increase of transaminases levels and alkaline phosphatase. Conclusion: This clinical trial shows that a cycle of 1 h weekly i.v. infusion of plitidepsin (3.2 mg/m2) was generally well tolerated other than fatigue and muscle weakness in patients with pretreated SCLC. One patient died due to multi-organ failure. The absence of antitumor activity found here precludes further studies of this plitidepsin schedule as second-line single-agent treatment of SCLC. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-65
    Number of pages5
    JournalLung Cancer
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


    • Cancer
    • Chemotherapy
    • Lung
    • Plitidepsin
    • SCLC
    • Second-line


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