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J Neurooncol. 2003 Oct;65(1):27-35.

Progress report of a Phase I study of the intracerebral microinfusion of a recombinant chimeric protein composed of transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha and a mutated form of the Pseudomonas exotoxin termed PE-38 (TP-38) for the treatment of malignant brain tumors.

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Division of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


TP-38 is a recombinant chimeric targeted toxin composed of the EGFR binding ligand TGF-alpha and a genetically engineered form of the Pseudomonas exotoxin, PE-38. After in vitro and in vivo animal studies that showed specific activity and defined the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), we investigated this agent in a Phase I trial. The primary objective of this study was to define the MTD and dose limiting toxicity of TP-38 delivered by convection-enhanced delivery in patients with recurrent malignant brain tumors. Twenty patients were enrolled in the study and doses were escalated from 25 ng/mL to 100 with a 40 mL infusion volume delivered by two catheters. One patient developed Grade IV fatigue at the 100 ng/mL dose, but the MTD has not been established. The overall median survival after TP-38 for all patients was 23 weeks whereas for those without radiographic evidence of residual disease at the time of therapy, the median survival was 31.9 weeks. Overall, 3 of 15 patients, with residual disease at the time of therapy, have demonstrated radiographic responses and one patient with a complete response and has survived greater than 83 weeks.

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