Phase I and pharmacologic study of irinotecan administered as a 96-hour infusion weekly to adult cancer patients

Chris H. Takimoto, Geraldine Morrison, Nancy Harold, Mary Quinn, Brian P. Monahan, Roger A. Band, Jeff Cottrell, Aida Guemei, Victor Llorens, Hilary Hehman, Abdel Salam Ismail, Donald Flemming, David M. Gosky, Haruyo Hirota, Sosamma J. Berger, Nathan A. Berger, Alice P. Chen, Jeremy D. Shapiro, Susan G. Arbuck, John WrightJ. Michael Hamilton, Carmen J. Allegra, Jean L. Grem

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59 Scopus citations


Purpose: We conducted a phase I and pharmacologic study of a weekly 96- hour infusion of irinotecan to determine the maximum-tolerated dose, define the toxicity profile, and characterize the clinical pharmacology of irinotecan and its metabolites. Patients and Methods: In 26 adult patients with solid tumors, the duration and dose rate of infusion were escalated in new patients until toxicity was observed. Results: In 11 patients who were treated with irinotecan at 12.5 mg/m2/d for 4 days weekly for 2 of 3 weeks, dose-limiting grade 3 diarrhea occurred in three patients and grade 3 thrombocytopenia occurred in two patients. The recommended phase II dose is 10 mg/m2/d for 4 days given weekly for 2 of 3 weeks. At this dose, the steady-state plasma concentration (Css) of total SN-38 (the active metabolite of irinotecan) was 6.42 ± 1.10 nmol/L, and the Css of total irinotecan was 28.60 ± 17.78 nmol/L. No patient experienced grade 3 or 4 neutropenia during any cycle. All other toxicities were mild to moderate. The systemic exposure to SN-38 relative to irinotecan was greater than anticipated, with a molar ratio of the area under the concentration curve (AUC) of SN-38 to irinotecan of 0.24 ± 0.08. One objective response lasting 12 months in duration was observed in a patient with metastatic colon cancer. Conclusion: The recommended phase II dose of irinotecan of 10 mg/m2/d for 4 days weekly for 2 of 3 weeks was extremely well tolerated. Further efficacy testing of this pharmacologic strategy of administering intermittent low doses of irinotecan is warranted.(C) 2000 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-667
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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