Purpose: Resistance to chemotherapy-induced apoptosis represents a major obstacle to cancer control. Overexpression of Bcl-2 is seen in multiple tumor types and targeting Bcl-2 may provide therapeutic benefit. A phase I study of navitoclax, a novel inhibitor of Bcl-2 family proteins, was conducted to evaluate safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary efficacy in patients with solid tumors. Patients and Methods: Patients enrolled to intermittent dosing cohorts received navitoclax on day -3, followed by dosing on days 1 to 14 of a 21-day cycle. Patients on continuous dosing received a 1-week lead-in dose of 150 mg followed by continuous daily administration. Blood samples were collected for pharmacokinetic analyses, biomarker analyses, and platelet monitoring. Results: Forty-seven patients, including 29 with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) or pulmonary carcinoid, were enrolled between 2007 and 2008, 35 on intermittent and 12 on continuous dosing cohorts. Primary toxicities included diarrhea (40%), nausea (34%), vomiting (36%), and fatigue (34%); most were grade 1 or 2. Dose- and schedule-dependent thrombocytopenia was seen in all patients. One patient with SCLC had a confirmed partial response lasting longer than 2 years, and eight patients with SCLC or carcinoid had stable disease (one remained on study for 13 months). Pro-gastrin releasing peptide (pro-GRP) was identified as a surrogate marker of Bcl-2 amplification and changes correlated with changes in tumor volume. Conclusion: Navitoclax is safe and well tolerated, with dose-dependent thrombocytopenia as the major adverse effect. Preliminary efficacy data are encouraging in SCLC. Efficacy in SCLC and the utility of pro-GRP as a marker of treatment response will be further evaluated in phase II studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research