Objective: To conduct a dose-finding trial using a single low dose and dose escalation of a higher dose of thalidomide in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and to evaluate the antineoplastic effectiveness of thalidomide as an anti-angiogenic agent on RCC.
Patients and methods: The 14 patients enrolled in the study had progressive measurable metastatic RCC and consented to participate. Patients were randomized to either a fixed low dose of 200 mg of thalidomide or to a high dose of 800 mg that was increased to a maximum dose of 1200 mg daily. Patients were evaluated for response after 8 weeks of therapy.
Results: Stable disease was achieved in six patients and was seen in both the low-dose and high-dose thalidomide groups. The median overall survival was 9 months. The low-dose thalidomide regimen was better tolerated and patients survived longer than those on the high-dose regimen (16 vs 6 months, P = 0.04)
Conclusion: The use of low-dose thalidomide in patients with metastatic RCC was well tolerated and they survived for longer than those on the high-dose regimen.