In this phase I study, we administered etoposide (VP-16) orally for 21 consecutive days to patients with advanced refractory cancers. All patients had received previous chemotherapy, and 50% of patients had received more than one combination regimen. When given for 21 consecutive days, the maximum-tolerated dose of oral VP-16 was 50 mg/m2/d. Myelosuppression was the dose-limiting toxicity, and occurred between days 21 and 28. In most patients, blood counts had recovered sufficiently by day 35 to begin another 3-week course. WBC count nadirs of < 1,000/μL occurred in four of 20 courses at this dose, and three patients required hospitalization for treatment of neutropenia and fever. Alopecia occurred in most patients; gastrointestinal (GI) and other toxicities were uncommon. Five of 16 patients with measurable tumor had partial responses of 3 to 4 months duration. Four of these five patients had malignancies that are usually unresponsive to VP-16 when administered by previously investigated schedules. This method of VP-16 administration is well tolerated, convenient, and may optimize antitumor efficacy by exploiting the schedule dependency of this drug. Phase II studies are necessary to define the level of activity of this schedule of VP-16.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research