A phase I study of etoposide phosphate plus paclitaxel

D. J. Brooks, D. S. Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Etoposide phosphate (Etopophos; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, NJ) is a water-soluble derivative of etoposide, a semisynthetic podophyllotoxin that is important in the treatment of a variety of malignancies, including lung cancer, germ cell tumors, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, acute leukemia, etc. Because etoposide is poorly water soluble, it must be dissolved in a polysorbate 80-based solvent mixture, which is moderately allergenic and requires a large volume of saline for administration. Etoposide phosphate is water soluble and is rapidly converted in vivo to etoposide by endogenous phosphatases. Because it is water soluble, etoposide phosphate can be administered in volumes much smaller than those required with etoposide therapy, permitting rapid intravenous administration in the outpatient setting. We recently reported the results of a phase I study using etoposide phosphate on a bolus, daily x 5 schedule. Like others, we demonstrated that etoposide phosphate has pharmacokinetic properties virtually identical to those of etoposide. Our dose-finding study indicated that etoposide phosphate can be used in doses up to 100 mg/m2/d x 5 every 3 weeks in patients who have not had extensive prior chemotherapy, and that a dose of 75 mg/m2 would be appropriate for patients who had undergone multiple prior therapies or who had prior radiotherapy. The dose-limiting toxicity was neutropenia. Paclitaxel, a microtubule-stabilizing agent, is active against a variety of solid and hematopoietic malignancies that overlap with those against which etoposide is active. Because the mechanisms of action of these two agents differ, it is logical to suppose that the combination of the two agents might produce some additive effect when used to treat cancers that respond to both individual agents. We therefore undertook a phase I study using pacfitaxel as a 3-hour infusion in combination with a 5-minute infusion of etoposide phosphate daily x 3 every 21 days. We used the 3-hour paclitaxel schedule because it has been shown to be less myelotoxic than longer infusions at the same doses. Our goal in this ongoing study is to determine the maximum tolerated doses of the two drugs in combination, to determine the toxicities of the regimen, and to assess its anticancer activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalSeminars in Oncology
Issue number6 SUPPL. 13
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'A phase I study of etoposide phosphate plus paclitaxel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this