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Randomized Phase II Study Of BR96-Doxorubicin Conjugate In Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer

Anthony W. Tolcher, Steven Sugarman, Karen A. Gelmon, Roger Cohen, Mansoor Saleh, Claudine Isaacs, Leslie Young, Diane Healey, Nicole Onetto, William Slichenmyer

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PURPOSE: BMS-182248-1 (BR96-doxorubicin immunoconjugate) is a chimeric human/mouse monoclonal antibody linked to approximately eight doxorubicin molecules. The antibody is directed against the Lewis-Y antigen, which is expressed on 75% of all breast cancers but is limited in expression on normal tissues. Preclinical xenograft models demonstrated significant antitumor activity, including cures. A randomized phase II design was chosen to estimate the activity of the BR96-doxorubicin conjugate in metastatic breast cancer in a study population with confirmed sensitivity to single-agent doxorubicin. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with measurable metastatic breast cancer and immunohistochemical evidence of Lewis-Y expression on their tumor received either BR96-doxorubicin conjugate 700 mg/m2 IV over 24 hours or doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 every 3 weeks. Patients were stratified on the basis of prior doxorubicin exposure, visceral disease, and institution. Cross-over to the opposite treatment arm was allowed with progressive or persistently stable disease. RESULTS: Twenty-three patients who had received a median of one prior chemotherapy regimen were assessable. There was one partial response (7%) in 14 patients receiving the BR96-doxorubicin conjugate and one complete response and three partial responses (44%) in nine assessable patients receiving doxorubicin. No patient experienced a clinically significant hypersensitivity reaction. The toxicities were significantly different between the two treatment groups, with the BR96-doxorubicin conjugate group having limited hematologic toxicity, whereas gastrointestinal toxicities, including marked serum amylase and lipase elevations, nausea, and vomiting with gastritis, were prominent. CONCLUSION: The BR96-doxorubicin immunoconjugate has limited clinical antitumor activity in metastatic breast cancer. The gastrointestinal toxicities likely represent binding of the agent to normal tissues expressing the target antigen and may have compromised the delivery of the immunoconjugate to the tumor sites.