Background: The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor flavopiridol increases irinotecan- and fluorouracil-induced apoptosis. We conducted a phase I trial of FOLFIRI + flavopiridol in patients with advanced solid tumors.
Design: FOLFIRI + flavopiridol were administered every 2 weeks. Based on sequence-dependent inhibition, flavopiridol was given 3 h after irinotecan but before 5-FU. Two maximum tolerated doses were determined, one with flavopiridol administered over 1 h, and one with flavopiridol split as a 30-min bolus followed by a 4-h infusion.
Results: A total of 74 patients were enrolled and 63 were evaluable. The MTD with FOLFIRI was flavopiridol 80 mg/m(2) over 1 h or 35 mg/m(2) bolus + 35 mg/m(2) over 4 h. Dose-limiting toxicities were diarrhea, fatigue, neutropenia, and neuropathy. Clinical activity included 2 partial responses in small bowel cancer and bladder cancer and 1 complete response in mucosal melanoma. Stable disease was seen in 22 patients. Pharmacokinetic studies showed increasing C(max) with increasing flavopiridol dose. Clinical benefit was correlated with the presence of wild-type p53. Of 25 patients with colorectal cancer, 11 had as best response SD for >3 m (median 6 m, range 4.2-15.4 m), despite failing ≥1 irinotecan-containing regimen.
Conclusions: Treatment with flavopiridol and FOLFIRI is a safe and effective regimen. Concentrations of flavopiridol that enhance the effects of FOLFIRI can be achieved. Clinical activity is encouraging and includes prolonged stable disease in patients with irinotecan-refractory colorectal cancer.