A phase II study of troglitazone, an activator of the PPARgamma receptor, in patients with chemotherapy-resistant metastatic colorectal cancer

Cancer J. Sep-Oct 2002;8(5):395-9. doi: 10.1097/00130404-200209000-00010.


Purpose: Troglitazone, a potent activator of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, induces tumor differentiation in human liposarcomas and causes regression of tumors that are derived from human colon cancer cells in nude mice. We therefore assessed the efficacy of troglitazone in the treatment of metastatic colon cancer in humans.

Methods: Twenty-five patients with metastatic colorectal cancer were treated with oral troglitazone. Patients were followed up for evidence of toxicity, tumor response, and survival.

Results: The treatment was well tolerated: no grade 3/4 treatment-related toxicities were observed. However, no objective tumor responses were noted, and all 25 patients had progressive disease as their best response to therapy. The median progression-free survival time was only 1.6 months, and the median survival time was 3.9 months.

Discussion: Troglitazone is not an active agent for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chromans / adverse effects
  • Chromans / therapeutic use*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / agonists*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thiazoles / adverse effects
  • Thiazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Thiazolidinediones*
  • Transcription Factors / agonists*
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Troglitazone


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Chromans
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Thiazoles
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Transcription Factors
  • Troglitazone