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A Phase I Trial Of Recombinant Human Interleukin-11 (neumega RhIL-11 Growth Factor) In Women With Breast Cancer Receiving Chemotherapy

MS Gordon, WJ McCaskill-Stevens, LA Battiato, J Loewy, D Loesch, E Breeden, R Hoffman, KJ Beach, B Kuca, J Kaye, GW Jr Sledge

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We performed a phase I trial of recombinant human interleukin-11 (rhIL- 11) in women with breast cancer. Cohorts of three to five women were accrued to five dosage levels of rhIL-11 (10, 25, 50, 75, and 100 micrograms/kg/d). rhIL-11 alone was administered by a daily subcutaneous injection for 14 days during a 28-day prechemotherapy “cycle 0.” Patients (pts) subsequently received up to four 28-day cycles of cyclophosphamide (1,500 mg/m2) and doxorubicin (60 mg/m2) chemotherapy followed by rhIL-11 at their assigned dose (days 3 through 14). Sixteen pts (13 stage IV, 3 stage IIIB) were accrued to this study. Median age was 53 years and median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status was 0. A grade 3 neurologic event was seen in 1 pt at 100 micrograms/kg. Because of the degree of grade 2 constitutional symptoms (myalgias/arthralgias and fatigue) at 75 micrograms/kg, dose escalation was stopped and 75 micrograms/kg was the maximally tolerated dose. No other grade 3 or 4 adverse events related to rhIL-11 were seen. The administration of rhIL-11 was not associated with fever. Reversible grade 2 fatigue and myalgias/arthralgias were seen in all pts at 75 micrograms/kg. Weight gain of 3% to 5% associated with edema was seen at doses > 10 micrograms/kg but a capillary leak syndrome was not seen. rhIL-11 alone was associated with a mean 76%, 93%, 108%, and 185% increase in platelet counts at doses of 10, 25, 50, and 75 micrograms/kg, respectively. No significant changes in leukocytes were seen. A mean 19% decrease in hematocrit was observed. Acute-phase proteins increased with treatment at all doses. Compared with patients at the 10 micrograms/kg dose, patients receiving doses > or = 25 micrograms/kg experienced less thrombocytopenia in the first two cycles of chemotherapy. We conclude that rhIL-11 has thrombopoietic activity at all doses studied, is well tolerated at doses of 10, 25, and 50 micrograms/kg, and at doses > or = 25 micrograms/kg has the potential to reduce chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia in this model.