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Gynecol Oncol. 2007 May;105(2):508-16. Epub 2007 Feb 15.

A phase II trial of thalidomide in patients with refractory endometrial cancer and correlation with angiogenesis biomarkers: a Gynecologic Oncology Group study.

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  • 1Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Health Sciences Center, OB/GYN, P.O. Box 26901, Williams Pavilion-Room WP2470, Oklahoma City, OK 73190, USA.



A phase II trial was conducted to evaluate the anti-tumor activity and adverse effects of thalidomide in persistent or recurrent endometrial cancer refractory to cytotoxic chemotherapy and to correlate angiogenesis biomarker expression with clinical outcome.


Consenting patients were treated until progression or intolerable toxicity with an oral starting dose of 200 mg thalidomide/day that was to increase by 200 mg every 2 weeks to a target dose of 1000 mg/day. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblastic growth factor (bFGF), and soluble endothelial protein C receptor (sEPCR) were analyzed by ELISA in pre and post-treatment specimens.


Twenty-four of twenty-seven patients enrolled in the study were eligible, of whom 2 reached the target dose, 8 progressed before achieving the target dose, and 14 refused or had toxicity that prohibited escalation. Two patients (8.3%) remained progression-free>or=6 months. There were 3 (12.5%) with partial responses, 2 (8.3%) with stable disease, 15 (62.5%) with increasing disease, and 4 (16.7%) who were inevaluable for response. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 1.7 months and 6.3 months, respectively. No grade 4 toxicities were observed. Common grade 3 toxicities included hematologic (n=3), cardiovascular (n=3), constitutional (n=3), and neurologic (n=4). Thalidomide did not decrease VEGF or bFGF levels but reduced sEPCR levels in serum. Elevated plasma vascular endothelial growth factor levels were associated with increased risk of progression and death.


Thalidomide demonstrated limited ability to delay progression (as measured by PFS at 6 months), produce objective responses, or reduce angiogenic marker levels in chemotherapy refractory endometrial cancer. VEGF level appears to be prognostically significant in such patients, independent of thalidomide treatment.

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