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Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Nov 1;15(21):6694-701. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-1445. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

A phase I dose-escalation study of danusertib (PHA-739358) administered as a 24-hour infusion with and without granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in a 14-day cycle in patients with advanced solid tumors.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.



This study was conducted to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of the i.v. pan-aurora kinase inhibitor PHA-739358, danusertib, in patients with advanced solid tumors.


In part 1, patients received escalating doses of danusertib (24-hour infusion every 14 days) without filgrastim (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, G-CSF). Febrile neutropenia was the dose-limiting toxicity without G-CSF. Further dose escalation was done in part 2 with G-CSF. Blood samples were collected for danusertib pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Skin biopsies were collected to assess histone H3 phosphorylation (pH3).


Fifty-six patients were treated, 40 in part 1 and 16 in part 2. Febrile neutropenia was the dose-limiting toxicity in part 1 without G-CSF. Most other adverse events were grade 1 to 2, occurring at doses >or=360 mg/m(2) with similar incidence in parts 1 and 2. The maximum tolerated dose without G-CSF is 500 mg/m(2). The recommended phase 2 dose in part 2 with G-CSF is 750 mg/m(2). Danusertib showed dose-proportional pharmacokinetics in parts 1 and 2 with a median half-life of 18 to 26 hours. pH3 modulation in skin biopsies was observed at >or=500 mg/m(2). One patient with refractory small cell lung cancer (1,000 mg/m(2) with G-CSF) had an objective response lasting 23 weeks. One patient with refractory ovarian cancer had 27% tumor regression and 30% CA125 decline.


Danusertib was well tolerated with target inhibition in skin at >or=500 mg/m(2). Preliminary evidence of antitumor activity, including a partial response and several occurrences of prolonged stable disease, was seen across a variety of advanced refractory cancers. Phase II studies are ongoing.

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