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Phase II study of pegylated arginine deiminase for nonresectable and metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author(s): Glazer ES, Piccirillo M, Albino V, Di Giacomo R, Palaia R, Mastro AA, Beneduce G, Castello G, De Rosa V, Petrillo A, Ascierto PA, Curley SA, Izzo F

Affiliation(s): Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Publication date & source: 2010-05-01, J Clin Oncol., 28(13):2220-6. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

Publication type: Clinical Trial, Phase II; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PURPOSE: It is well known that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an arginine auxotroph due to argininosuccinate synthetase I deficiency. This study's purpose was to evaluate the effects of pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI) in terms of toxicity, tumor response, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels, and serum arginine levels. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Eighty patients were randomly assigned to receive either 80 IU/m(2) or 160 IU/m(2) of ADI weekly for up to 6 months. Adverse events, serum arginine, AFP levels, and antibody production against ADI were measured on a regular basis. In addition, disease response and time to progression according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) and survival rates were evaluated. RESULTS: Four patients were excluded from the survival analysis because they developed exclusion criteria after randomization, but before first treatment. The number of patients in the two cohorts were similar (n = 37 in the low-dose cohort, n = 39 in the high-dose cohort). Mean (+/-SE) survival for all subjects was 15.8 months (474 days +/- 39 days) from time of diagnosis of unresectable disease. Arginine levels remained below baseline for 50 days while antibodies against ADI reached a plateau at approximately the same time. There were no deaths attributed to ADI treatment. Only two patients were withdrawn for immunogenic-related adverse events. Grade 2, 3, or 4 toxicities were recorded in 92, 19, and 0 patients, respectively. CONCLUSION: Pegylated ADI is a promising drug that capitalizes on a significant enzymatic deficiency in HCC. It is safe, well tolerated, and may benefit patients with unresectable HCC.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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