[MOL] Thalidomide Abstracts on Mets B.C./Kaposi/Gliomas/Mul.Myeloma [01259] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Thalidomide Abstracts on Mets B.C./Kaposi/Gliomas/Mul.Myeloma

Medscape Pharmacotherapy

MEDLINE Abstracts
Thalidomide Clinical Trials

What are the latest clinical trials involving thalidomide? Find out in this easy-to-navigate collection of recent MEDLINE Abstracts compiled by the editors at Medscape Pharmacotherapy. [Medscape Pharmacotherapy, 2000]

Back Phase II Evaluation of Thalidomide in Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Baidas SM, Winer EP, Fleming GF, et al
J Clin Oncol. 2000;18(14):2710-2717

Purpose: To determine the efficacy, safety, pharmacokinetics, and effect on serum angiogenic growth factors of two dose levels of thalidomide in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
Patients and Methods: Twenty-eight patients with progressive metastatic breast cancer were randomized to receive either daily 200 mg of thalidomide or 800 mg to be escalated to 1,200 mg. Fourteen heavily pretreated patients were assigned to each dose level. Each cycle consisted of 8 weeks of treatment. Pharmacokinetics and growth factor serum levels were evaluated.
Results: No patient had a true partial or complete response. On the 800-mg arm, 13 patients had progressive disease at or before 8 weeks of treatment and one refused to continue treatment. The dose was reduced because of somnolence to 600 mg for five patients and to 400 mg for two and was increased for one to 1,000 mg and for four to 1,200 mg. On the 200-mg arm, 12 patients had progressive disease at or before 8 weeks and two had stable disease at 8 weeks, of whom one was removed from study at week 11 because of grade 3 neuropathy and the other had progressive disease at week 16. Dose-limiting toxicities included somnolence and neuropathy. Adverse events that did not require dose or schedule modifications included constipation, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, anorexia, arrhythmia, headaches, skin rash, hypotension, and neutropenia. Evaluation of circulating angiogenic factors and pharmacokinetic studies failed to provide insight into the reason for the lack of efficacy.
Conclusion: Single-agent thalidomide has little or no activity in patients with heavily pretreated breast cancer. Further studies that include different patient populations and/or combinations with other agents might be performed at the lower dose levels.

Back Activity of Thalidomide in AIDS-Related Kaposi's Sarcoma

Little RF, Wyvill KM, Pluda JM, et al
J Clin Oncol. 2000;18(13):2593-2602

Purpose: To assess the toxicity and activity of oral thalidomide in Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) in a phase II dose-escalation study.
Patients and Methods: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive patients with biopsy-confirmed KS that progressed over the 2 months before enrollment received an initial dose of 200 mg/d of oral thalidomide in a phase II study. The dose was increased to a maximum of 1,000 mg/d for up to 1 year. Anti-HIV therapy was maintained during the study period. Toxicity, tumor response, immunologic and angiogenic factors, and virologic parameters were assessed.
Results: Twenty patients aged 29 to 49 years with a median CD4 count of 246 cells/mm(3) (range, 14 to 646 cells/mm(3)) were enrolled. All patients were assessable for toxicity, and 17 for response. Drowsiness in nine and depression in seven patients were the most frequent toxicities observed. Eight (47%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 23% to 72%) of the 17 assessable patients achieved a partial response, and an additional two patients had stable disease. Based on all 20 patients treated, the response rate was 40% (95% CI, 19% to 64%). The median thalidomide dose at the time of response was 500 mg/d (range, 400 to 1,000 mg/d). The median duration of drug treatment was 6.3 months, and the median time to progression was 7.3 months.
Conclusion: Oral thalidomide was tolerated in this population at doses up to 1,000 mg/d for as long as 12 months and was found to induce clinically meaningful anti-KS responses in a sizable subset of the patients. Additional studies of this agent in KS are warranted. Sucessful treatment of multiple myeloma relapsing after high-dose therapy and autologous transplantation with thalidomide as a single agent.

Back Thalidomide in the Treatment of Cutaneous Lupus Refractory to Conventional Therapy

Ordi-Ros J, Cortes F, Cucurull E, et al
J Rheumatol. 2000;27(6):1429-1433

Objective: We describe a prospective treatment study of thalidomide in a series of 22 patients with cutaneous lupus refractory to other treatments.
Methods: From 1992 to 1998, 22 patients with cutaneous lupus (9 with discoid lupus erythematosus, 7 with subacute cutaneous lupus, 4 with profundus lupus, 2 with nonspecific rash) were treated with thalidomide. Initial treatment was started at 100 mg daily. If the cutaneous lesions vanished, the dose was lowered to 50-25 mg daily as a maintenance therapy and it was considered a complete remission. If the lesions improved but remained, this was considered a partial response and treatment was continued until the lesions were not further modified. Periodically, adverse effects were evaluated.
Results: Three patients discontinued treatment because of side effects such as vertigo, persistent drowsiness, or paresthesia. Rash improved in 16/19 patients (84%). Complete remission occurred in 12/16 (75%). In 9 (65%) the rash resolved, but recurred 4-16 weeks after withdrawal of thalidomide; when it was used again, they improved. Partial response was achieved in 4/16 (25%) patients. No response occurred in 3/19 (16%). Many patients noted improvement within 2 weeks after starting thalidomide and maximum benefit was achieved within 3 months. Five of the 14 women had amenorrhea during the treatment with thalidomide.
Conclusion: Thalidomide is effective in the treatment of cutaneous lupus refractory to other treatments. However, only some patients had a remission; the remainder relapsed when treatment was withdrawn, or required low doses of thalidomide to preserve inactive lesions. Amenorrhea was observed as a new secondary effect of thalidomide.

Back Phase II Trial of the Antiangiogenic Agent Thalidomide in Patients with Recurrent High-Grade Gliomas

Fine HA, Figg WD, Jaeckle K, et al
J Clin Oncol. 2000;18(4):708-15

Purpose: Little progress has been made in the treatment of adult high-grade gliomas over the last two decades, thus necessitating a search for novel therapeutic strategies. Malignant gliomas are vascular or angiogenic tumors, which leads to the supposition that angiogenesis inhibition may represent a potentially promising strategy in the treatment of these tumors. We present the results of a phase II trial of thalidomide, a putative inhibitor of angiogenesis, in the treatment of adults with previously irradiated, recurrent high-grade gliomas.
Patients and Methods: Patients with a histologic diagnosis of anaplastic mixed glioma, anaplastic astrocytoma, or glioblastoma multiforme who had radiographic demonstration of tumor progression after standard external-beam radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy were eligible. Patients were initially treated with thalidomide 800 mg/d with increases in dose by 200 mg/d every 2 weeks until a final daily dose of 1,200 mg was achieved. Patients were evaluated every 8 weeks for response by both clinical and radiographic criteria.
Results: A total of 39 patients were accrued, with 36 patients being assessable for both toxicity and response. Thalidomide was well tolerated, with constipation and sedation being the major toxicities. One patient developed a grade 2 peripheral neuropathy after treatment with thalidomide for nearly a year. There were two objective radiographic partial responses (6%), two minor responses (6%), and 12 patients with stable disease (33%). Eight patients were alive more than 1 year after starting thalidomide, although almost all with tumor progression. Changes in serum levels of basic fibroblastic growth factor (bFGF) were correlated with time to tumor progression and overall survival.
Conclusion: Thalidomide is a generally well-tolerated drug that may have antitumor activity in a minority of patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas. Future studies will better define the usefulness of thalidomide in newly diagnosed patients with malignant gliomas and in combination with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Additionally, studies will be needed to confirm the potential utility of changes in serum bFGF as a marker of antiangiogenic activity and/or glioma growth.

Back An Open-Label Pilot Study of Low-Dose Thalidomide in Chronically Active, Steroid-Dependent Crohn's Disease

Vasiliauskas EA, Kam LY, Abreu-Martin MT, et al
Gastroenterology. 1999;117(6):1278-87

Background & Aims: Thalidomide decreases production of tumor necrosis factor alpha, a proinflammatory cytokine associated with Crohn's disease (CD). In this study the safety, tolerance, and efficacy of low-dose thalidomide were evaluated for treatment of moderate-to-severe, steroid-dependent CD.
Methods: Twelve adult male patients with Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) scores of > or = 250 and < or = 500 despite > or = 20 mg prednisone/day were enrolled. The first 6 patients received 50 mg thalidomide every night, the next 6 received 100 mg every night. Steroid doses were stable during the first 4 weeks of treatment, then tapered during weeks 5-12. CDAI was used to assess response.
Results: (1) Disease activity improved consistently in all patients during weeks 1-4: 58% response, 17% remission. (2) Clinical improvement was generally maintained despite steroid taper during weeks 5-12. All patients were able to reduce steroids by >/=50%. Forty-four percent discontinued steroids entirely. In weeks 5-12, 70% of patients responded and 20% achieved remission. (3) Side effects were mild and mostly transient, with the most common being drowsiness, peripheral neuropathy, edema, and dermatitis.
Conclusions: Low-dose thalidomide appears to be well tolerated and effective over a 12-week period. Results of this pilot study support the need for controlled multicenter trials of thalidomide for treatment of CD.

Back Thalidomide Therapy for Patients with Refractory Crohn's Disease: An Open-Label Trial

Ehrenpreis ED, Kane SV, Cohen LB, Cohen RD, Hanauer SB
Gastroenterology. 1999;117(6):1271-7

Background & Aims: Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor is a proposed mechanism for the anti-inflammatory properties of thalidomide. We performed an open-label trial of thalidomide in refractory Crohn's disease.
Methods: Twenty-two patients with refractory Crohn's disease (Crohn's Disease Activity Index [CDAI] > 200 and/or draining perianal disease) initiated therapy with thalidomide, 200 mg at bedtime (18 patients), or 300 mg at bedtime (4 patients). CDAI and goal interval scores (GIS) were assessed at weeks 0, 4, and 12. Clinical response for patients with luminal disease was defined as reduction in CDAI score of >150 points and for fistula patients was 2 scores of >/=1+ in 3 parameters of the GIS. Clinical remission was defined as a total CDAI < 150 (luminal patients) or >/=2+ for all parameters of the GIS (fistula patients).
Results: Nine patients with luminal disease and 13 with fistulas (16 male, 6 female) were enrolled. The median CDAI score at entry was 371 (95-468). Sixteen patients completed 4 weeks of treatment (12 clinical responses, 4 clinical remissions). All 14 patients completing 12 weeks met criteria for clinical response. Nine achieved clinical remission (3 luminal, 6 fistula patients). The median CDAI score was 175 (30-468; P < 0.001 vs. baseline).
Conclusions: Thalidomide is efficacious in some patients with refractory Crohn's disease.

Back Antitumor Activity of Thalidomide in Refractory Multiple Myeloma

Singhal S, Mehta J, Desikan R, et al
N Engl J Med. 1999;341(21):1565-71

Background: Patients with myeloma who relapse after high-dose chemotherapy have few therapeutic options. Since increased bone marrow vascularity imparts a poor prognosis in myeloma, we evaluated the efficacy of thalidomide, which has antiangiogenic properties, in patients with refractory disease.
Methods: Eighty-four previously treated patients with refractory myeloma (76 with a relapse after high-dose chemotherapy) received oral thalidomide as a single agent for a median of 80 days (range, 2 to 465). The starting dose was 200 mg daily, and the dose was increased by 200 mg every two weeks until it reached 800 mg per day. Response was assessed on the basis of a reduction of the myeloma protein in serum or Bence Jones protein in urine that lasted for at least six weeks.
Results: The serum or urine levels of paraprotein were reduced by at least 90 percent in eight patients (two had a complete remission), at least 75 percent in six patients, at least 50 percent in seven patients, and at least 25 percent in six patients, for a total rate of response of 32 percent. Reductions in the paraprotein levels were apparent within two months in 78 percent of the patients with a response and were associated with decreased numbers of plasma cells in bone marrow and increased hemoglobin levels. The microvascular density of bone marrow did not change significantly in patients with a response. At least one third of the patients had mild or moderate constipation, weakness or fatigue, or somnolence. More severe adverse effects were infrequent (occurring in less than 10 percent of patients), and hematologic effects were rare. As of the most recent follow-up, 36 patients had died (30 with no response and 6 with a response). After 12 months of follow-up, Kaplan-Meier estimates of the mean (+/-SE) rates of event-free survival and overall survival for all patients were 22+/-5 percent and 58+/-5 percent, respectively.
Conclusions: Thalidomide is active against advanced myeloma. It can induce marked and durable responses in some patients with multiple myeloma, including those who relapse after high-dose chemotherapy

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