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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Jul 1;10(13):4363-8.

A phase I study of cantuzumab mertansine administered as a single intravenous infusion once weekly in patients with advanced solid tumors.

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University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



The purpose is to determine the maximum-tolerated dose, assess the toxicities, characterize the pharmacokinetic behavior, and seek preliminary evidence of biological activity of cantuzumab mertansine when administered as a weekly i.v. infusion without interruption.


Patients with incurable solid tumors that expressed the target antigen for cantuzumab mertansine, CanAg, were treated with doses of cantuzumab mertansine ranging from 40 to 138 mg/m(2). The maximum-tolerated dose was defined as the highest dose at which no more than 1 of 6 patients experienced dose-limiting toxicity. Plasma concentrations of cantuzumab mertansine and total humanized antibody were determined, and area under the plasma concentration-time curve (to the last measured concentration) was calculated.


Thirty-nine patients received a total of 280 weekly doses of cantuzumab mertansine. Acute, transient elevation of the hepatic transaminases and reversible fatigue were identified as the dose-limiting toxicities at the highest dose level. The maximum-tolerated dose was determined to be 115 mg/m(2)/week. Evidence of clinical activity was noted in 3 patients. Pharmacokinetic analyses revealed that the pharmacokinetic variability was moderate, without evidence of dose dependency. Furthermore, the drug had a long terminal half-life ( approximately 40 h).


This study identified a safe and tolerable dose of the novel immunoconjugate prodrug cantuzumab mertansine. The evidence of antitumor activity suggests that additional clinical development is warranted, with a focus on tumors that express high levels of CanAg and which are known to be sensitive to antimicrotubule agents.

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