BACKGROUND: The study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of exisulind, a selective apoptotic antineoplastic drug, in combination with gemcitabine as second-line therapy in patients with progressing advanced non-small cell lung cancer. METHODS: Patients whose disease progressed more than 3 months from completion of first-line chemotherapy were eligible for this phase I/II trial. Primary end points were maximally tolerated dose and time to progression. Patients in the phase I portion of the study were treated with gemcitabine (1250 mg/m) in combination with three escalated dose levels of exisulind. Treatment involved six cycles of gemcitabine and exisulind followed by exisulind maintenance. The study was subsequently expanded to phase II. RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients (15 in phase I and 24 in phase II) were treated. The regimen was well tolerated with grade 3 fatigue and grade 3 constipation being dose-limiting toxicities. The maximally tolerated dose was not reached. Dose level 3 of exisulind (250 mg twice daily) in combination with gemcitabine was used for phase II. The overall response rates were 7% (phase I), 17% (phase II), and 13% (all). Median time to progression and median and 1-year survival, respectively, were 3.7 and 9.7 months and 33% (phase I); 4.3 and 9.4 months and 41% (phase II); and 4.1 and 9.4 months and 39% (all). CONCLUSION: Although the study met its primary end point of improving time to progression (more than 4.1 months in phase II), we did not observe a clear survival advantage and thus do not plan to further investigate this schedule of gemcitabine and exisulind.
- Progressing non-small cell lung cancer
- Second-line therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine