BK-UM in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer or peritoneal cancer: a first-in-human phase-I study

BMC Cancer. 2017 Jan 31;17(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s12885-017-3071-5.


Background: BK-UM (CRM197) is a mutant form of diphtheria toxin and a specific inhibitor of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF). We assessed the safety, pharmacokinetics, recommended dose, and efficacy of BK-UM in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer (OC) or peritoneal cancer (PC), and measured HB-EGF levels in serum and abdominal fluid after BK-UM administration.

Methods: Eleven patients with advanced or recurrent OC or PC were enrolled and treated with BK-UM via the intraperitoneal route. The dose was escalated (1.0, 2.0, 3.3, and 5.0 mg/m2) using a 3 + 3 design.

Results: Eight of 11 patients completed treatment. No dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was experienced at dose levels 1 (1.0 mg/m2) and 2 (2.0 mg/m2). Grade 3 transient hypotension as an adverse event (defined as a DLT in the present study) was observed in two of four patients at dose level 3 (3.3 mg/m2). Treatment with BK-UM was associated with decreases in HB-EGF levels in serum and abdominal fluid in seven of 11 patients and five of eight patients, respectively. Clinical outcomes included a partial response in one patient, stable disease in five patients, and progressive disease in five patients.

Conclusions: BK-UM was well tolerated at doses of 1.0 and 2.0 mg/m2, with evidence for clinical efficacy in patients with recurrent OC or PC. A dose of 2.0 mg/m2 BK-UM is recommended for subsequent clinical trials.

Trial registration: This trial was prospectively performed as an investigator-initiated clinical trial. The trial numbers are UMIN000001002 and UMIN000001001, with registration dates of 1/30/2008 and 2/4/2008, respectively. UMIN000001001 was registered as a trial for the continuous administration of BK-UM after UMIN000001002 .

Keywords: BK-UM; HB-EGF; Ovarian cancer; Phase-I study; Targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bacterial Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Bacterial Proteins / pharmacokinetics
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Heparin-binding EGF-like Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Heparin-binding EGF-like Growth Factor
  • CRM197 (non-toxic variant of diphtheria toxin)