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J Clin Oncol. 1998 Jun;16(6):2188-94.

Phase I study of paclitaxel in patients with recurrent malignant glioma: a North American Brain Tumor Consortium report.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Francisco, USA.



To determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of paclitaxel administered as a 3-hour infusion in patients with recurrent malignant glioma.


Patients were stratified by starting dose of paclitaxel and concurrent anticonvulsant (AC) use and were treated in cohorts of three patients. The starting dose was 240 mg/m2 administered intravenously with escalations of 30 mg/m2 until the MTD was established. Pharmacokinetic data were obtained for each patient for the first infusion. Tumor response was assessed at 6-week intervals and treatment was continued until documented tumor progression, unacceptable toxicity, or a total of 12 paclitaxel infusions.


From April 1995 to December 1996, 34 patients were treated; 27 patients in the AC group and seven patients in the non-AC group. The MTD for patients who received ACs was established at 360 mg/m2 and the dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was central neurotoxicity, characterized as transient encephalopathy and seizures. In contrast, the MTD for patients who did not receive ACs was 240 mg/m2, and myelosuppression, gastrointestinal toxicity, and fatigue were the DLTs. Pharmacokinetic data confirmed that the plasma drug levels and clearance rates were similar for patients in both groups at the respective dose levels that produced DLTs.


The pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel are altered by ACs, and significantly larger doses of the drug can be administered to patients with brain tumors on AC therapy. The toxicity profile is different for patients on AC therapy treated at these higher doses. A phase II study has been initiated that uses a dose of 330 mg/m2 for patients on AC therapy and 210 mg/m2 for patients not on AC therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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