Phase I study of a five-day dose schedule of 4-Ipomeanol in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

Clin Cancer Res. 1998 Sep;4(9):2095-102.


The mammalian pulmonary toxin 4-ipomeanol (IPO) is activated by the cytochrome P450 system in bronchial Clara cells in animals. The resulting metabolites bind rapidly to macromolecules, producing localized cytotoxicity. IPO has in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and thus was proposed as a lung cancer-specific antitumor agent. We have completed a directed Phase I trial in patients with NSCLC. Forty-four patients (34 men and 10 women) with NSCLC were treated with IPO. All but two patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. They received 91 courses of therapy with i.v. IPO; 82 courses were administered daily for five days, and 9 were single bolus doses. The dose-limiting toxicity of elevated serum transaminases was observed in three of seven patients at 922 mg/m2/day. The maximum tolerated dose was 693 mg/m2/day on 5 consecutive days every 3 weeks. One patient developed grade 4 pulmonary toxicity at 167 mg/m2/day. There was no significant hematological or renal toxicity. No objective antitumor responses were observed. Pharmacokinetic analysis of 39 patients from day 1 of IPO administration showed biexponential elimination with mean half-lives of 8.6 (alpha half-life) and 76 min (beta half-life). There was a linear relationship between the area under the plasma drug concentration-time curve and the dose of IPO. There was no significant difference between the pharmacokinetic parameters measured on day 1 and day 5. Using a 4-day in vitro cytotoxicity assay, two tumor cell lines established from patients treated at 693 mg/m2/day had IC50s of approximately 6 mM, a concentration more than 75-fold higher than the plasma levels measured in these patients. Thus, although the total amount of drug administered per cycle on a daily times five dose schedule is more than 2.5-fold higher than the recommended single daily dose, IPO is unlikely to be a useful drug for patients with lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • Terpenes / administration & dosage*
  • Terpenes / adverse effects
  • Terpenes / pharmacokinetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Terpenes
  • 4-ipomeanol