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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2009 Feb;52(2):169-76. doi: 10.1002/pbc.21873.

Phase I study of SU5416, a small molecule inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) in refractory pediatric central nervous system tumors.

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  • 1Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


SU5416 is a novel small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor of the VEGF receptors 1 and 2. A phase I dose escalation study stratified by concurrent use (stratum II) or absence (stratum I) of enzyme-inducing anticonvulsant drugs was undertaken to estimate the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and to describe the toxicity profile of SU5416 in pediatric patients with refractory brain tumors. Dose escalations were conducted independently for stratum I starting at 110 mg/m(2) while stratum II started at 48 mg/m(2). Thirty-three eligible patients were treated on stratum I (n = 23) and stratum II (n = 10). Tumor types included 23 glial tumors, 4 neural tumors, 4 ependymomas, and 2 choroid plexus carcinomas. The MTD in stratum I was initially estimated to be 110 mg/m(2). The protocol was amended to determine the MTD after excluding transient AST elevation. Re-estimation of the MTD began at the 145 mg/m(2) dose level but due to development of SU5416 being stopped by the sponsor, the trial was closed before completion. The most serious drug-related toxicities were grade 3 liver enzyme abnormalities, arthralgia, and hallucinations. The plasma pharmacokinetics of SU5416 was not significantly affected by the concurrent administration of enzyme-inducing anticonvulsant drugs. Mean values of the total body clearance, apparent volume of distribution, and terminal phase half-life of SU5416 for the 19 patients in stratum I were 26.1 +/- 12.5 l/hr/m(2), 41.9 +/- 21.4 l/m(2), and 1.11 +/- 0.41 hr, respectively. The plasma pharmacokinetics of SU5416 in children was similar to previously reported findings in adult cancer patients. Prolonged disease stabilization was observed in 4 of 16 stratum I patients.

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