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Invest New Drugs. 2005 Mar;23(2):165-70.

A phase II trial of ZD1839 (Iressa) 750 mg per day, an oral epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

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Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre, 699 Concession St., Hamilton, ON, Canada L8V 5C2.



The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) appears relevant in the pathogenesis and progression of colorectal cancer. After completing a phase I pharmacodynamic trial of ZD1839, we undertook a dose expansion trial to examine the antitumour efficacy and adverse effect profile of this agent in a homogeneous group of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC).


Eligible patients with metastatic or recurrent CRC received ZD1839 750 mg daily by mouth. This dose was selected based on a phase I trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG). Treatment was continued until unacceptable toxicity or disease progression.


Twenty-eight patients were enrolled at three NCIC CTG centers. Twenty-three patients had received prior chemotherapy; 12 patients had received three or more regimens. No objective responses were observed in 24 evaluable patients, although 8 patients had stable disease (median duration of 2.2 months). The most frequent drug related adverse events were diarrhea, rash and nausea. Eleven patients required dosing modification (hold or reduction), while 3 patients discontinued therapy because of toxicity. There were no treatment related deaths.


ZD1839, when given at 750 mg/day to patients with pre-treated metastatic colorectal cancer, does not result in significant tumor regression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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