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Cancer. 2005 Oct 1;104(7):1478-86.

Phase I trial of irinotecan plus temozolomide in adults with recurrent malignant glioma.

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Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



The authors determined the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) of irinotecan (CPT-11), a topoisomerase I inhibitor, when administered with temozolomide among patients with recurrent malignant glioma (MG).


Patients with MG at any recurrence received temozolomide (TMZ) at a dose of 200 mg/m(2)/day on Days 1-5 plus CPT-11 administered as a 90-minute intravenous infusion during Weeks 1, 2, 4, and 5 of each 6-week cycle. Patients were stratified based on concurrent administration of CYP3A4-inducing anticonvulsants (enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs [EIAEDs]). The CPT-11 dose was escalated in successive cohorts of patients independently for each stratum.


CPT-11, at doses ranging from 40 mg/m(2) to 375 mg/m(2), was administered with TMZ to 107 patients. Ninety-one patients (85%) had recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and 16 (15%) had recurrent anaplastic glioma. Sixty-eight patients (64%) were given EIAEDs. The MTD of CPT-11 for patients concurrently receiving and not receiving EIAEDs was 325 mg/m(2) and 125 mg/m(2), respectively. The DLTs were hematologic, gastrointestinal, and hepatic. Fifteen patients (14%) achieved either a radiographic complete (n = 5) or partial (n = 10) response across a wide range of CPT-11 dose levels. Patients with recurrent GBM who achieved radiographic response had a median time to disease progression of 54.9 weeks.


The current study built on preclinical observations designed to increase the clinical activity of topoisomerase I inhibitors. CPT-11, administered at full dose levels, was well tolerated in combination with TMZ. Furthermore, durable responses were observed in this recurrent population. Ongoing Phase II studies will evaluate the efficacy of this regimen and its application to other malignancies.

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