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Cancer. 2007 Dec 1;110(11):2535-41.

A phase II study of the farnesyl transferase inhibitor, tipifarnib, in children with recurrent or progressive high-grade glioma, medulloblastoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor, or brainstem glioma: a Children's Oncology Group study.

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  • 1Department of Hematology-Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-2794, USA.



An open-label Phase II study of tipifarnib was conducted to evaluate its safety and efficacy in children with recurrent or refractory medulloblastoma (MB)/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET), high-grade glioma (HGG), and diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma (BSG).


Between January 2004 and July 2005, patients were enrolled and stratified as follows: Stratum 1, recurrent or refractory MB/PNET; Stratum 2, recurrent or refractory HGG; and Stratum 3, recurrent or refractory BSG. Patients received tipifarnib 200 mg/m2 per dose twice daily for 21 days repeated every 28 days. Patients who received enzyme-inducing anticonvulsants and other CYP3A4/5 inducers or inhibitors were excluded. The primary objective was to estimate the sustained response rate in all strata.


Ninety-seven patients with a median age of 11.2 years (range, 3.2-21.9 years) were enrolled on the study, and 81 patients were evaluable for response. One of 35 patients with BSG and 1 of 31 patients with HGG had a sustained partial response. No responses were observed in 15 patients with MB/PNET. Eight patients (3 HGG, 1 MB, and 4 BSG) remained stable for >or=4 courses (range, 4-25 courses). The median number of courses received was 2 (range, 1-25 courses). The most frequent grade 3 and 4 toxicities included neutropenia (18.7%), thrombocytopenia (14.3%), and leukopenia (14.3%). The 6-month progression-free survival rate (+/-standard deviation) was 14%+/-6% for HGG, 6%+/-6% for MB/PNET and 3%+/-3% for BSG.


Tipifarnib tolerated well but had little activity as a single agent in children with recurrent central nervous system malignancies.

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