Phase II study of PKC-α antisense oligonucleotide aprinocarsen in combination with gemcitabine and carboplatin in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer
Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
The antisense oligonucleotide aprinocarsen specifically inhibits the transcription of protein kinase C-alpha. This study evaluated the response rate of the combination therapy of aprinocarsen, gemcitabine, and carboplatin in previously untreated patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Secondary objectives included the measurement of time-to-event efficacy parameters and toxicity. Patients with stage IV or stage IIIB disease (N(3) and/or pleural/pericardial effusion) were treated with gemcitabine 1,250 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 and carboplatin AUC 5 on day 1 every 21 days. Aprinocarsen was administered as 2mg/kg/day continuous iv infusion on the first 14 days of each cycle, following the carboplatin treatment. A total of 36 patients received a median of 3 treatment cycles, with 10 patients completing 6 cycles. No complete response was observed, while partial response was seen in 25% of patients. Stable disease and progressive disease was observed in 36.1% and 22.2% of patients. The median overall survival was 8.3 months, and the median duration of progression-free survival was 5.7 months (95% CI, 3.2-7.1 months). Thrombocytopenia (78%) and neutropenia (50%) were the major grade 3/4 toxicities. Enrollment for this study was stopped and the study was terminated in March 2003 due to the results of a large phase III study, which suggested that aprinocarsen did not improve response or add survival benefit to chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC. The addition of aprinocarsen to gemcitabine+carboplatin therapy in patients with NSCLC showed moderate activity. However, this combination resulted in severe thrombocytopenia in the majority of patients.