Purpose: Our preclinical studies have shown that acidic and basic fibroblastic growth factors confer broad spectrum chemoresistance and that low concentrations (10-50 microM) of suramin, a nonspecific fibroblastic growth factor inhibitor, enhance the antitumor activity of paclitaxel in vivo. The present Phase I study evaluated low-dose suramin in combination with paclitaxel/carboplatin in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients.
Experimental design: Patients received suramin followed by paclitaxel (175-200 mg/m(2)) and carboplatin area under the concentration-time curve of 6 mg/ml/min, every 3 weeks. The initial suramin dose for the first cycle was 240 mg/m(2), and the doses for subsequent cycles were calculated based on the 72-h pretreatment plasma concentrations. The recommended suramin dose would yield plasma concentrations of 10-20 microM at 48 h in >or=5 of 6 patients.
Results: Fifteen patients (11 stage IV, 4 stage IIIB, 9 chemonaive, and 6 previously treated) received 85 courses. The most common toxicities were neutropenia, nausea/vomiting, malaise/fatigue, and peripheral neuropathy. No treatment-related hospitalizations, adrenal dysfunction, or episodes of sepsis occurred. The initial suramin dose resulted in the targeted concentrations of 10-20 microM at 48 h in 5 of the first 6 patients treated but also resulted in peak concentrations > 50 microM in all patients. Dividing the suramin dose to be administered in two doses, 24 h apart, yielded the target concentrations and avoided undesirable peak concentrations. Discernable antitumor activity occurred in 7 of 10 patients with measurable disease, including 2 with prior chemotherapy. The median time to tumor progression is 8.5 months (range, 3-27+ months) for 12 evaluable patients.
Conclusions: Low-dose suramin does not increase the toxicity of paclitaxel/carboplatin combination. The suramin dose can be calculated based on clinical parameters. Because of the preliminary antitumor activity observed, efficacy studies in chemonaive and chemorefractory patients are under way.