Background: The authors evaluated the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of treatment using lonafarnib, a novel farnesyltransferase inhibitor (FTI), in combination with paclitaxel in patients with metastatic (Stage IIIB/V), taxane-refractory/resistant nonsmall cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).
Methods: Patients with NSCLC who experienced disease progression while receiving previous taxane therapy or who had disease recurrence within 3 months after taxane therapy cessation were treated with continuous lonafarnib 100 mg orally twice per day beginning on Day 1 and paclitaxel 175 mg/m(2) intravenously over 3 hours on Day 8 of each 21-day cycle.
Results: A total of 33 patients were enrolled, 29 of whom were evaluable for response. Partial responses (PR) and stable disease (SD) were observed in 3 (10%) and 11 patients (38%), respectively. Thus, 48% (14 of 29) experienced clinical benefit (PR or SD). The updated and final median overall survival time was 39 weeks and the median disease progression-free survival time was 16 weeks. The combination of lonafarnib and paclitaxel was well tolerated with minimal toxicity. Grade 3 toxicities included fatigue (9%), diarrhea (6%), and dyspnea (6%). Grade 3 neutropenia occurred in only 1 patient (3%). Grade 4 adverse events included respiratory insufficiency in 2 patients (6%) and acute respiratory failure in 1 patient (3%).
Conclusions: Lonafarnib plus paclitaxel demonstrated clinical activity in patients with taxane-refractory/resistant metastatic NSCLC. In addition, the combination of lonafarnib and paclitaxel was well tolerated with minimal toxicity. Evaluation of this combination therapy in additional clinical trials is warranted.