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Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1989;24(6):391-2.

Phase II clinical trial of high-dose recombinant human tumor necrosis factor.

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Central Institute for Cancer Research, Academy of Sciences of the GDR, Berlin-Buch.


Based on a phase I study in 1986, 22 patients have been entered in a phase II study of high-dose human tumor necrosis factor (rH-TNF) since May 1987. Of these patients, 18 are evaluable at present, 2 are still under investigation, and 2 have dropped out. All had advanced stages of cancer (9 soft-tissue sarcomas, 3 melanomas, 5 hypernephromas) and inclusion in the study was ethically acceptable (informed consent). The daily dose of rH-TNF was 15 x 10(5) units/m2, escalated to 21 x 10(5) units/m2 (683-956 micrograms/m2 every week; range 1-6 cycles). Additional prophylactic ketoprofen administration was carried out. Of the 18 evaluable patients, 4 responded with no change (2/4, clinical improvement) and 14 showed progressive disease. The main toxicities observed were hypotension (decrease in systolic blood pressure, 21-60 Torr), leukocytosis, increases in ALAT/ASAT (WHO grade 0-4), fever (WHO grade 1-2), chills (mild to moderate), neurotoxicity (WHO grade 0-2), and nausea/vomiting (WHO grade 0-3).

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