Phase Ib study of NGR-hTNF, a selective vascular targeting agent, administered at low doses in combination with doxorubicin to patients with advanced solid tumours

V. Gregorc, A. Santoro, E. Bennicelli, C. J A Punt, G. Citterio, J. N H Timmer-Bonte, F. Caligaris Cappio, A. Lambiase, C. Bordignon, C. M L Van Herpen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:Asparagine-glycine-arginine-human tumour necrosis factor (NGR-hTNF) is a vascular targeting agent exploiting a tumour-homing peptide (NGR) that selectively binds to aminopeptidase N/CD13, overexpressed on tumour blood vessels. Significant preclinical synergy was shown between low doses of NGR-TNF and doxorubicin.Methods:The primary aim of this phase I trial was to verify the safety of low-dose NGR-hTNF combined with doxorubicin in treating refractory/resistant solid tumours. Secondary objectives included pharmacokinetics (PKs), pharmacodynamics, and clinical activity. In all 15 patients received NGR-hTNF (0.2-0.4-0.8-1.6 g m 2) and doxorubicin (60-75 mg m 2), both given intravenously every 3 weeks.Results:No dose-limiting toxicity occurred and the combination was well tolerated. Around two cases of neutropenic fevers, lasting 2 days, and two cases of cardiac ejection-fraction drops, one asymptomatic and the other symptomatic, were registered. Only 11% of the adverse events were related to NGR-hTNF and were short-lasting and mild-to-moderate in severity. There was no apparent PK interaction and the shedding of soluble TNF-receptors did not increase to 0.8 g m 2. One partial response (7%), at dose level 0.8 g m 2, and 10 stable diseases (66%), lasting for a median duration of 5.6 months, were observed.Conclusions:NGR-hTNF plus doxorubicin was administered safely and showed promising activity in patients pre-treated with anthracyclines. The dose level of 0.8 g m 2 NGR-hTNF plus doxorubicin 75 mg m 2 was selected for phase II development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-224
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume101
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 21 2009

Keywords

  • Doxorubicin
  • NGR-hTNF
  • Vascular targeting agent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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