Gallium nitrate in prostatic cancer: Evaluation of antitumor activity and effects on bone turnover
Bone and Bones
Gallium nitrate, an agent known to inhibit bone resorption, was evaluated in patients with bidimensionally measurable hormone-refractory prostatic cancer. The starting dose was 200 mg/m2 iv by continuous infusion over 7 days. Two patients (10%; 95% confidence limits, 0%-22%) achieved short partial remissions of 1 and 6+ months, while seven of 23 (30%; 95% confidence limits, 14%-52%) showed a diminution of bone pain. Serial indices of bone turnover including serum calcium, phosphorus, and urinary hydroxyproline excretion showed a significant decrease at the completion of the infusion which returned to baseline prior to the next cycle. The data suggest the effect on bone was too short to produce consistent improvement. Reasons for the dissociation of pain relief and antitumor activity are discussed.