A phase II trial of homoharringtonine and caracemide in the treatment of patients with advanced large bowel cancer

Invest New Drugs. 1999;17(2):173-7. doi: 10.1023/a:1006327418043.


Twenty-four previously untreated, ambulatory patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma were treated with either caracemide (11 patients) or homoharringtonine (13 patients). No objective responses were observed in any of the treatment cohorts. Caracemide was well tolerated with the exception of one death due to sepsis. On the homoharringtonine arm one patient died of pulmonary sepsis, one patient experienced grade 4 leukopenia requiring more than 4 weeks of recovery, and an additional patient developed grade 4 renal failure. These severe and unexpected complications caused early termination of accrual to the homoharringtonine arm of the study. These agents have no activity in the treatment of advanced colorectal carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Harringtonines / adverse effects
  • Harringtonines / therapeutic use*
  • Homoharringtonine
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyurea / adverse effects
  • Hydroxyurea / analogs & derivatives*
  • Hydroxyurea / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Harringtonines
  • Homoharringtonine
  • caracemide
  • Hydroxyurea