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Curr Opin Oncol. 2006 Jul;18(4):347-53.

ET-743: a novel agent with activity in soft-tissue sarcomas.

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Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Service d'oncologie médicale, France.



ET-743 (ecteinascidin-743, trabectedin, Yondelis) is a natural marine product that has shown clinical activity in sarcoma. This paper reviews the current knowledge on this compound.


ET-743 interferes with several transcription factors, traps protein from the nucleotide-excision repair system, thus resulting in DNA damage, modulates gene expression, and blocks cells in the G2-M phase. In the clinical setting, after failure of standard treatment, ET-743 at 1.5 mg/m2 in 24 h continuous infusion every 21 days yielded an overall response rate close to 8% and stabilization rates of 30-40%, some lasting beyond 3 years. Leiomyosarcomas, liposarcomas, and synovial sarcomas may be the more sensitive histotypes. The major toxicities of ET-743 are hepatic--through biliary duct destruction--and hematologic. They are not cumulative and a significant number of patients may receive 12 courses or more. In a randomized Phase II study testing weekly ET-743 with treatment every 3 weeks, an improved progression-free survival rate was observed in the 3-weekly arm; the results of the follow-up Phase III trial should be available at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting of 2006. Phase I combination studies are in currently progress.


ET-743 is a novel active drug for sarcoma which yields prolonged disease-free survival in subsets of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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