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Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Sep 15;12(18):5471-80.

A phase I biological and pharmacologic study of the heparanase inhibitor PI-88 in patients with advanced solid tumors.

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University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, Colorado 80010, USA.



PI-88 is a mixture of highly sulfated oligosaccharides that inhibits heparanase, an extracellular matrix endoglycosidase, and the binding of angiogenic growth factors to heparan sulfate. This agent showed potent inhibition of placental blood vessel angiogenesis as well as growth inhibition in multiple xenograft models, thus forming the basis for this study.


This study evaluated the toxicity and pharmacokinetics of PI-88 (80-315 mg) when administered s.c. daily for 4 consecutive days bimonthly (part 1) or weekly (part 2).


Forty-two patients [median age, 53 years (range, 19-78 years); median performance status, 1] with a range of advanced solid tumors received a total of 232 courses. The maximum tolerated dose was 250 mg/d. Dose-limiting toxicity consisted of thrombocytopenia and pulmonary embolism. Other toxicity was generally mild and included prolongation of the activated partial thromboplastin time and injection site echymosis. The pharmacokinetics were linear with dose. Intrapatient variability was low and interpatient variability was moderate. Both AUC and C(max) correlated with the percent increase in activated partial thromboplastin time, showing that this pharmacodynamic end point can be used as a surrogate for drug exposure. No association between PI-88 administration and vascular endothelial growth factor or basic fibroblast growth factor levels was observed. One patient with melanoma had a partial response, which was maintained for >50 months, and 9 patients had stable disease for >or=6 months.


The recommended dose of PI-88 administered for 4 consecutive days bimonthly or weekly is 250 mg/d. PI-88 was generally well tolerated. Evidence of efficacy in melanoma supports further evaluation of PI-88 in phase II trials.

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