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Br J Cancer. 1999 Dec;81(8):1419-25.

Dose escalation and pharmacokinetic study of a humanized anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody in patients with HER2/neu-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan.


We conducted a phase I pharmacokinetic dose escalation study of a recombinant humanized anti-p185HER2 monoclonal antibody (MKC-454) in 18 patients with metastatic breast cancer refractory to chemotherapy. Three or six patients at each dose level received 1, 2, 4 and 8 mg kg(-1) of MKC-454 as 90-min intravenous infusions. The first dose was followed in 3 weeks by nine weekly doses. Target trough serum concentration has been set at 10 microg ml(-1) based on in vitro observations. The mean value of minimum trough serum concentrations at each dose level were 3.58 +/- 0.63, 6.53 +/- 5.26, 40.2 +/- 7.12 and 87.9 +/- 23.5 microg ml(-1) respectively. At 2 mg kg(-1), although minimum trough serum concentrations were lower than the target trough concentration with a wide range of variation, trough concentrations increased and exceeded the target concentration, as administrations were repeated weekly. Finally 2 mg kg(-1) was considered to be sufficient to achieve the target trough concentration by the weekly dosing regimen. One patient receiving 1 mg kg(-1) had grade 3 fever, one at the 1 mg kg(-1) level had severe fatigue defined as grade 3, and one at 8 mg kg(-1) had severe bone pain of grade 3. No antibodies against MKC-454 were detected in any patients. Objective tumour responses were observed in two patients; one receiving 4 mg kg(-1) had a partial response in lung metastases and the other receiving 8 mg kg(-1) had a complete response in soft tissue metastases. These results indicate that MKC-454 is well tolerated and effective in patients with refractory metastatic breast cancers overexpressing the HER2 proto-oncogene. Further evaluation of this agent with 2-4 mg kg(-1) weekly intravenous infusion is warranted.

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