A phase II trial of bryostatin-1 in patients with metastatic or recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Bryostatin-1 is a macrocyclic lactone that has been shown to modulate Protein Kinase C activity and has demonstrated antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo. Fifteen patients with metastatic or recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck were treated with bryostatin-1 at a dose of 25 mcg/m2 by continuous intravenous infusion over 24 hours once weekly for three weeks followed by a break week to complete a four-week cycle. There were no major objective responses in the 14 evaluable patients. One patient with nasopharynx cancer had disease stabilization for 4 months prior to being removed from the study due to medical issues. This clinical benefit corresponded to a radiographic decrease in metabolic activity on positron emission tomograpy (PET) scan as well as molecular evidence of tumor apoptosis in a poly[ADP-ribose] polymerase (PARP) cleavage assay. Bryostatin-1 is not recommended for use as a single agent for the treatment of squamous cell head and neck cancer. Further investigation is warranted to determine the strength of the correlation between bryostatin-1 activity and PARP cleavage as a surrogate molecular marker of apoptosis.