Intermittent dosing of the farnesyl transferase inhibitor tipifarnib (R115777) in advanced malignant solid tumors: A phase I California Cancer Consortium Trial

Primo N Lara, Lisa Y. Law, John J. Wright, Paul Frankel, Przemyslaw Twardowski, Heinz Josef Lenz, Derick H Lau, Tomoya Kawaguchi, Paul H. Gumerlock, James H. Doroshow, David R Gandara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Tipifarnib (R115777) inhibits farnesylation of key proteins that modulate signaling pathways implicated in cell growth and proliferation, including members of the Ras and Rho families. It has broad-spectrum antiproliferative activity in vitro and in vivo. Clinical trials employing a continuous administration schedule have demonstrated dose-limiting neurotoxicity and myelosuppression. Preclinical studies have shown that intermittent oral administration can suppress tumor growth comparable to continuous administration. We conducted a National Cancer Institute-sponsored phase I trial to determine the feasibility of an intermittent dosing schedule of R115777 given orally twice daily on weeks 1 and 3 of a 28-day cycle in patients with malignant solid tumors. Starting dose was 300 mg twice daily (b.i.d.) with escalation by 300 mg b.i.d. increments over six dose levels to a maximum of 1800 mg b.i.d. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as any grade 3 or 4 non-hematologic toxicity, grade 4 thrombocytopenia, grade 4 neutropenia (ANC) with fever (38.3°C or above) or a documented infection. Twenty-one patients with advanced solid tumors, all of whom had prior systemic therapy, were accrued. Grade 3 fatigue was dose limiting for two of three patients at the 900 mg b.i.d. dose level. Although no responses were seen, four of six patients with stable disease remained on study for at least a year (16, 17, 13 and 12 months) before developing progressive disease. Three of these prolonged stable disease patients had non-small cell lung cancer. We conclude that intermittent dosing of R115777 is feasible and tolerable. The recommended phase II dose is 600 mg orally b.i.d. on alternate weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-321
Number of pages5
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005



  • Clinical trial
  • Dose escalation
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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