Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Preliminary Antitumor Activity of Sorafenib: A Review of Four Phase I Trials in Patients with Advanced Refractory Solid Tumors
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Sorafenib is an oral multikinase inhibitor that inhibits Raf serine/threonine kinases and receptor tyrosine kinases involved in tumor growth and angiogenesis. It has demonstrated preclinical and clinical activity in several tumor types. Sorafenib 400 mg twice daily (bid) has been approved in several countries worldwide for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma. This review summarizes key safety, pharmacokinetic, and efficacy data from four phase I, single-agent, dose-escalation studies with sorafenib in patients with advanced refractory solid tumors (n = 173). These trials followed different treatment regimens (7 days on/7 days off, n = 19; 21 days on/7 days off, n = 44; 28 days on/7 days off, n = 41; or continuous dosing, n = 69) to establish the optimum dosing schedule. Sorafenib was generally well tolerated; most adverse events were mild to moderate in severity up to the defined maximum-tolerated dose of 400 mg twice daily (bid). The most frequently reported drug-related adverse events at any grade included fatigue (40%), anorexia (35%), diarrhea (34%), rash/desquamation (27%), and hand-foot skin reaction (25%). Sorafenib demonstrated preliminary antitumor activity, particularly among patients with renal cell carcinoma or hepatocellular carcinoma: overall, two of 137 evaluable patients achieved partial responses and 38 (28%) had stable disease. Although there was high interpatient variability in plasma pharmacokinetics across these studies, this was not associated with an increased incidence or severity of toxicity. Preliminary studies suggest that phosphorylated extracellular signal-related kinase in tumor cells or peripheral blood lymphocytes may be a useful biomarker for measuring and, ultimately, predicting the effects of sorafenib. Based on these findings, continuous daily 400 mg bid sorafenib was chosen as the optimal regimen for phase II/III studies. Trials are ongoing in renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, melanoma, and non-small cell lung cancer.
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