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Phase I Study Of Paclitaxel In Combination With A Multidrug Resistance Modulator, PSC 833 (Valspodar), In Refractory Malignancies

Paula M. Fracasso, Peter Westerveldt, Carole A. Fears, D. Marc Rosen, Eleanor G. Zuhowski, Lorraine A. Cazenave, Manuel Litchman, Merrill J. Egorin

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PURPOSE: To determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), and pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel when given with PSC 833 (valspodar) to patients with refractory solid tumors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were initially treated with paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 continuous intravenous infusion (CIVI) over 3 hours. Subsequently, 29 hours of treatment with CIVI PSC 833 was started 2 hours before paclitaxel treatment was initiated. In this combination, the starting dose of paclitaxel was 52.5 mg/m2. Paclitaxel doses were escalated by 17.5 mg/m2 increments for four subsequent cohorts. Each cohort consisted of three patients with the exception of the last cohort, which consisted of six patients. Data for the pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel with and without concurrent PSC 833 administration were obtained. RESULTS: All 18 patients completed at least one course of concurrent treatment (median, two courses; range, one to six) and were evaluable for toxicity. The MTD for paclitaxel with PSC 833 was 122.5 mg/m2. Neutropenia was the DLT. All patients had PSC 833 blood concentrations greater than 1,000 ng/mL before, during, and 24 hours after the paclitaxel infusion. PSC 833 produced small increases in the paclitaxel peak plasma concentrations and areas under the concentration-time curve. However, PSC 833 greatly prolonged the terminal phase of paclitaxel, resulting in plasma paclitaxel concentrations of more than 0.05 μmol/L for much longer than expected. As a result, myelosuppression was comparable to that produced by full-dose paclitaxel given without PSC 833. Of the 16 patients who were assessable for response, one patient experienced a partial response and an additional nine patients experienced disease stabilization after paclitaxel treatment alone. CONCLUSION: Treatment with paclitaxel 122.5 mg/m2 as a 3-hour CIVI concurrent with a 29-hour CIVI of PSC 833 results in acceptable toxicity. The addition of PSC 833 alters the pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel, which explains the enhanced neutropenia experienced by patients treated with this drug combination.