Publications by authors named "Joshua Zhang"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

DNA methylation predicts age and provides insight into exceptional longevity of bats.

Nat Commun 2021 03 12;12(1):1615. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Exceptionally long-lived species, including many bats, rarely show overt signs of aging, making it difficult to determine why species differ in lifespan. Here, we use DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles from 712 known-age bats, representing 26 species, to identify epigenetic changes associated with age and longevity. We demonstrate that DNAm accurately predicts chronological age. Across species, longevity is negatively associated with the rate of DNAm change at age-associated sites. Furthermore, analysis of several bat genomes reveals that hypermethylated age- and longevity-associated sites are disproportionately located in promoter regions of key transcription factors (TF) and enriched for histone and chromatin features associated with transcriptional regulation. Predicted TF binding site motifs and enrichment analyses indicate that age-related methylation change is influenced by developmental processes, while longevity-related DNAm change is associated with innate immunity or tumorigenesis genes, suggesting that bat longevity results from augmented immune response and cancer suppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21900-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7955057PMC
March 2021

Nivolumab plus Cabozantinib versus Sunitinib for Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma.

N Engl J Med 2021 03;384(9):829-841

From the Department of Medical Oncology, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston (T.K.C.); the Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Free National Health Service Trust, London (T.P.); the Bradford Hill Clinical Research Center, Santiago, Chile (M.B.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France (B.E.); the Department of Hemato-Oncology, Urologic Oncology Clinic, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City (M.T.B.), the Department of Medical Oncology, Centro Universitario contra el Cáncer, Hospital Universitario "Dr. José Eleuterio González," Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León (V.M.O.J.), and the Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital H+ Querétaro, Querétaro (J.P.F.) - all in Mexico; the Department of Outpatient Chemotherapy, Professor Franciszek Lukaszczyk Oncology Center, Bydgoszcz (B.Z.), and the Department of Clinical Oncology and Hematology, Regional Specialist Hospital, Biała Podlaska (J. Żołnierek) - both in Poland; the Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (J.J.H.); Oncology Unit 1, Department of Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IRCCS, Padua (U.B.), the Department of Medical Oncology, Ospedale San Donato, Istituto Toscano i, Arezzo (A.H.), the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia (C.P.), and the University of Bari "A. Moro," Bari (C.P.) - all in Italy; the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (A.Y.S.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, Barcelona (C.S.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, QLD (J.C.G.), and Cabrini Monash University Department of Medical Oncology, Cabrini Health, Malvern, VIC (D.P.) - both in Australia; the Oncology Research Center, Hospital São Lucas, Porto Alegre, Brazil (C.B.); Fundacion Richardet Longo, Instituto Oncologico de Cordoba, Cordoba (M.R.), and Instituto Multidisciplinario de Oncología, Clínica Viedma, Viedma (R.K.) - both in Argentina; the Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora (E.R.K.); the Departments of Urology and Molecular Oncology, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata (Y.T.), and the Department of Urology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo (R.M.) - both in Japan; the Department of Urology, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany (J.B.); the Departments of Clinical Research (J. Zhang.), Clinical Oncology (M.A.M.), Biostatistics (B.S.), and Health Economics and Outcomes Research (F.E.), Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ; the Department of Clinical Oncology, Exelixis, Alameda, CA (G.M.S.); the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (A.B.A.); and the Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (R.J.M.).

Background: The efficacy and safety of nivolumab plus cabozantinib as compared with those of sunitinib in the treatment of previously untreated advanced renal-cell carcinoma are not known.

Methods: In this phase 3, randomized, open-label trial, we randomly assigned adults with previously untreated clear-cell, advanced renal-cell carcinoma to receive either nivolumab (240 mg every 2 weeks) plus cabozantinib (40 mg once daily) or sunitinib (50 mg once daily for 4 weeks of each 6-week cycle). The primary end point was progression-free survival, as determined by blinded independent central review. Secondary end points included overall survival, objective response as determined by independent review, and safety. Health-related quality of life was an exploratory end point.

Results: Overall, 651 patients were assigned to receive nivolumab plus cabozantinib (323 patients) or sunitinib (328 patients). At a median follow-up of 18.1 months for overall survival, the median progression-free survival was 16.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 12.5 to 24.9) with nivolumab plus cabozantinib and 8.3 months (95% CI, 7.0 to 9.7) with sunitinib (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.64; P<0.001). The probability of overall survival at 12 months was 85.7% (95% CI, 81.3 to 89.1) with nivolumab plus cabozantinib and 75.6% (95% CI, 70.5 to 80.0) with sunitinib (hazard ratio for death, 0.60; 98.89% CI, 0.40 to 0.89; P = 0.001). An objective response occurred in 55.7% of the patients receiving nivolumab plus cabozantinib and in 27.1% of those receiving sunitinib (P<0.001). Efficacy benefits with nivolumab plus cabozantinib were consistent across subgroups. Adverse events of any cause of grade 3 or higher occurred in 75.3% of the 320 patients receiving nivolumab plus cabozantinib and in 70.6% of the 320 patients receiving sunitinib. Overall, 19.7% of the patients in the combination group discontinued at least one of the trial drugs owing to adverse events, and 5.6% discontinued both. Patients reported better health-related quality of life with nivolumab plus cabozantinib than with sunitinib.

Conclusions: Nivolumab plus cabozantinib had significant benefits over sunitinib with respect to progression-free survival, overall survival, and likelihood of response in patients with previously untreated advanced renal-cell carcinoma. (Funded by Bristol Myers Squibb and others; CheckMate 9ER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03141177.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2026982DOI Listing
March 2021

Safety and Efficacy of Nivolumab in Patients With Advanced Non-Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results From the Phase IIIb/IV CheckMate 374 Study.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2020 Dec 16;18(6):461-468.e3. Epub 2020 May 16.

Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington and Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.

Background: The open-label phase IIIb/IV CheckMate 374 study (NCT02596035) was conducted to validate the safety and efficacy of flat-dose nivolumab 240 mg every 2 weeks (Q2W) in previously treated advanced/metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Three cohorts included patients with predominantly clear cell histology, non-clear cell histologies, or brain metastases. We report safety and efficacy from the advanced non-clear cell RCC (nccRCC) cohort of CheckMate 374.

Methods: Eligible patients received 0 to 3 prior systemic therapies. Patients received nivolumab 240 mg Q2W for ≤24 months or until confirmed progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was incidence of high-grade (grade 3-5) immune-mediated adverse events (IMAEs). Exploratory endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS).

Results: Forty-four patients had advanced nccRCC (papillary [n = 24], chromophobe [n = 7], unclassified [n = 8], other [n = 5]); 34.1% received ≥1 prior systemic regimen in the advanced/metastatic setting. With median follow-up of 11 (range, 0.4-27) months, no all-cause grade 3-5 IMAEs or treatment-related grade 5 adverse events were reported. ORR was 13.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2-27.4), with 1 complete response (chromophobe) and 5 partial responses (papillary [n = 2], chromophobe [n = 1], collecting duct [n = 1], and unclassified [n = 1] histology). Median PFS was 2.2 months (95% CI, 1.8-5.4). Median OS was 16.3 months (95% CI, 9.2-not estimable).

Conclusions: Safety of flat-dose nivolumab 240 mg Q2W was consistent with previous results. Clinically meaningful efficacy was observed with responses in several histologies, supporting nivolumab as a treatment option for patients with advanced nccRCC, a patient population with high unmet need.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2020.05.006DOI Listing
December 2020

Safety and Efficacy of Nivolumab in Patients With Advanced Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results From the Phase IIIb/IV CheckMate 374 Study.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2020 Dec 14;18(6):469-476.e4. Epub 2020 Jun 14.

US Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV.

Background: The open-label, phase IIIb/IV CheckMate 374 study (NCT02596035) was conducted to validate the safety and efficacy of flat-dose nivolumab monotherapy 240 mg every 2 weeks (Q2W) in previously treated advanced/metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Three cohorts included patients with predominantly clear cell histology, non-clear cell histologies, or brain metastases. We report safety and efficacy from the CheckMate 374 advanced clear cell RCC (ccRCC) cohort.

Patients And Methods: Eligible patients received prior treatment regimens (1-2 antiangiogenic; 0-3 systemic) with progression on/after last treatment and ≤ 6 months of enrollment. Patients received nivolumab 240 mg Q2W for ≤ 24 months or until confirmed progression/unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was incidence of high-grade (grade 3-5) immune-mediated adverse events (IMAEs). Exploratory endpoints included objective response rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival.

Results: Ninety-seven patients had advanced predominantly ccRCC; 75.3% received only 1 prior systemic regimen in the advanced/metastatic setting. After a median follow-up of 17 months (range, 0.4-26.9 months), no grade 5 IMAEs occurred, and 9.3% of patients reported grade 3/4 IMAEs (hepatitis, 4.1%; diabetes mellitus, 2.1%; nephritis and renal dysfunction, 1.0%; rash, 1.0%; adrenal insufficiency, 1.0%). The objective response rate was 22.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 14.8%-32.3%). Three patients had a complete response; 19 had partial responses. The median progression-free survival was 3.6 months (95% CI, 2.0-5.5 months). The median overall survival was 21.8 months (95% CI, 17.4 months to not estimable).

Conclusions: This study validates the safety and efficacy of nivolumab 240 mg Q2W flat-dose monotherapy for previously treated advanced ccRCC and adds to previous safety and efficacy data using the 3 mg/kg Q2W dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2020.06.002DOI Listing
December 2020

Development of a prognostic composite cytokine signature based on the correlation with nivolumab clearance: translational PK/PD analysis in patients with renal cell carcinoma.

J Immunother Cancer 2019 12 11;7(1):348. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Route 206 & Province Line Road, Princeton, NJ, 08543, USA.

Background: Although several therapeutic options for patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have been approved over recent years, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, considerable need remains for molecular biomarkers to assess disease prognosis. The higher pharmacokinetic (PK) clearance of checkpoint inhibitors, such as the anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) therapies nivolumab and pembrolizumab, has been shown to be associated with poor overall survival (OS) across several tumor types. However, determination of PK clearance requires the collection and analysis of post-treatment serum samples, limiting its utility as a prognostic biomarker. This report outlines a translational PK-pharmacodynamic (PD) methodology used to derive a baseline composite cytokine signature correlated with nivolumab clearance using data from three clinical trials in which nivolumab or everolimus was administered.

Methods: Peripheral serum cytokine (PD) and nivolumab clearance (PK) data from patients with RCC were analyzed using a PK-PD machine-learning model. Nivolumab studies CheckMate 009 (NCT01358721) and CheckMate 025 (NCT01668784) (n = 480) were used for PK-PD analysis model development and cytokine feature selection (training dataset). Validation of the model and assessment of the prognostic value of the cytokine signature was performed using data from CheckMate 010 (NCT01354431) and the everolimus comparator arm of CheckMate 025 (test dataset; n = 453).

Results: The PK-PD analysis found a robust association between the eight top-ranking model-selected baseline inflammatory cytokines and nivolumab clearance (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.7). The predicted clearance (high vs low) based on the cytokine signature was significantly associated with long-term OS (p < 0.01) across all three studies (training and test datasets). Furthermore, cytokines selected from the model development trials also correlated with OS of the everolimus comparator arm (p < 0.01), suggesting the prognostic nature of the composite cytokine signature for RCC.

Conclusions: Here, we report a PK-PD translational approach to identify a molecular prognostic biomarker signature based on the correlation with nivolumab clearance in patients with RCC. This composite biomarker signature may provide improved prognostic accuracy of long-term clinical outcome compared with individual cytokine features and could be used to ensure the balance of patient randomization in RCC clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40425-019-0819-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6907258PMC
December 2019

A phase 2 study of glembatumumab vedotin, an antibody-drug conjugate targeting glycoprotein NMB, in patients with advanced melanoma.

Cancer 2019 04 28;125(7):1113-1123. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Los Angeles, California.

Background: Glembatumumab vedotin is an antibody-drug conjugate that produced preliminary clinical activity against advanced melanoma in a phase 1 dose-escalation trial. The objective of the current study was to investigate further the antitumor activity of glembatumumab vedotin at the recommended phase 2 dose in heavily pretreated patients with melanoma.

Methods: This single-arm, phase 2 study enrolled patients with stage IV melanoma who were refractory to checkpoint inhibition and to B-raf proto-oncogene, serine/threonine kinase (BRAF)/mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibition (in the presence of a BRAF valine mutation at codon 600). Patients received 1.9 mg/kg glembatumumab vedotin intravenously every 3 weeks until they developed disease progression or intolerance. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR), which was determined according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), duration of response, overall survival (OS), safety, and clinical efficacy versus tumor glycoprotein NMB (gpNMB) expression. Tumor expression of gpNMB was assessed using immunohistochemistry.

Results: In total, 62 patients received treatment. The ORR was 11% and the median response duration was 6.0 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1 months to not reached). The median PFS was 4.4 months (95% CI, 2.6-5.5 months), and the median OS was 9.0 months (95% CI, 6.1-11.7 months). For patients who developed rash during the first cycle versus those who did not, the ORR was 21% versus 7%, respectively, and there was an overall improvement in PFS (hazard ratio, 0.43; P = .013) and OS (hazard ratio, 0.43; P = .017). The most frequent adverse events were alopecia, neuropathy, rash, fatigue, and neutropenia. With one exception, all evaluable tumors were positive for gpNMB, and 46 of 59 tumors (76%) had 100% gpNMB-positive epithelial cells.

Conclusions: Glembatumumab vedotin had modest activity and an acceptable safety profile in patients with advanced melanoma who were refractory to checkpoint inhibitors and MEK/BRAF inhibition. Treatment-related rash may be associated with response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31892DOI Listing
April 2019

A pivotal role for starch in the reconfiguration of C-partitioning and allocation in Arabidopsis thaliana under short-term abiotic stress.

Sci Rep 2018 06 18;8(1):9314. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, One Shield Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.

Plant carbon status is optimized for normal growth but is affected by abiotic stress. Here, we used C-labeling to provide the first holistic picture of carbon use changes during short-term osmotic, salinity, and cold stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. This could inform on the early mechanisms plants use to survive adverse environment, which is important for efficient agricultural production. We found that carbon allocation from source to sinks, and partitioning into major metabolite pools in the source leaf, sink leaves and roots showed both conserved and divergent responses to the stresses examined. Carbohydrates changed under all abiotic stresses applied; plants re-partitioned C to maintain sugar levels under stress, primarily by reducing C into the storage compounds in the source leaf, and decreasing C into the pools used for growth processes in the roots. Salinity and cold increased C-flux into protein, but as the stress progressed, protein degradation increased to produce amino acids, presumably for osmoprotection. Our work also emphasized that stress regulated the carbon channeled into starch, and its metabolic turnover. These stress-induced changes in starch metabolism and sugar export in the source were partly accompanied by transcriptional alteration in the T6P/SnRK1 regulatory pathway that are normally activated by carbon starvation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-27610-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6006365PMC
June 2018

RESILIENCE: Phase III Randomized, Double-Blind Trial Comparing Sorafenib With Capecitabine Versus Placebo With Capecitabine in Locally Advanced or Metastatic HER2-Negative Breast Cancer.

Clin Breast Cancer 2017 12 22;17(8):585-594.e4. Epub 2017 May 22.

The West Clinic, Memphis, TN.

Introduction: Sorafenib is a multikinase inhibitor with antiangiogenic/antiproliferative activity. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial, we assessed first- or second-line capecitabine with sorafenib or placebo in patients with locally advanced/metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer resistant to a taxane and anthracycline and with known estrogen/progesterone receptor status.

Patients And Methods: A total of 537 patients were randomized to capecitabine 1000 mg/m orally twice per day for days 1 to 14 every 21 days with oral sorafenib 600 mg/d or placebo. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Patients were stratified according to hormone receptor status, previous chemotherapies for metastatic breast cancer, and geographic region.

Results: Treatment with sorafenib with capecitabine, compared with capecitabine with placebo, did not prolong median PFS (5.5 vs. 5.4 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.973; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.779-1.217; P = .811) or overall survival (OS; 18.9 vs. 20.3 months; HR, 1.195; 95% CI, 0.943-1.513; P = .140); or enhance overall response rate (ORR; 13.5% vs. 15.5%; P = .515). Any grade toxicities (sorafenib vs. placebo) included palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (PPES; 79.2% vs. 59.6%), diarrhea (47.3% vs. 37.8%), mucosal inflammation (15.4% vs. 6.7%), and hypertension (26.2% vs. 5.6%). Grade 3/4 toxicities included PPES (15.4% vs. 7.1%), diarrhea (4.2% vs. 6.4%), and vomiting (3.5% vs. 0.7%).

Conclusion: The combination of sorafenib with capecitabine did not improve PFS, OS, or ORR in patients with HER2-negative advanced breast cancer. Rates of Grade 3 toxicities were higher in the sorafenib arm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clbc.2017.05.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5699974PMC
December 2017

MT-PCR panel detection of canine parvovirus (CPV-2): Vaccine and wild-type CPV-2 can be difficult to differentiate in canine diagnostic fecal samples.

Mol Cell Probes 2017 06 1;33:20-23. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia; School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia. Electronic address:

Canine parvovirus (CPV-2) remains an important cause of devastating enteritis in young dogs. It can be successfully prevented with live attenuated CPV-2 vaccines when given at the appropriate age and in the absence of maternal antibody interference. Rapid diagnosis of parvoviral enteritis in young dogs is essential to ensuring suitable barrier nursing protocols within veterinary hospitals. The current diagnostic trend is to use multiplexed PCR panels to detect an array of pathogens commonly responsible for diarrhea in dogs. The multiplexed PCR assays do not distinguish wild from vaccine CPV-2. They are highly sensitive and detect even a low level of virus shedding, such as those caused by the CPV-2 vaccine. The aim of this study was to identify the CPV-2 subtypes detected in diagnostic specimens and rule out occult shedding of CPV-2 vaccine strains. For a total of 21 samples that tested positive for CPV-2 in a small animal fecal pathogens diagnostic multiplexed tandem PCR (MT-PCR) panel during 2014-2016 we partially characterized the VP2 gene of CPV-2. Vaccine CPV-2 strain, wild type CPV-2a subtypes and vaccine-like CPV-2b subtypes were detected. High copy number was indicative of wild-type CPV-2a presence, but presence of vaccine-like CPV-2b had a variable copy number in fecal samples. A yardstick approach to a copy number or C-value to discriminate vaccine strain from a wild type virus of CPV-2 can be, in some cases, potentially misleading. Therefore, discriminating vaccine strain from a wild type subtype of CPV-2 remains ambitious.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mcp.2017.02.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7125668PMC
June 2017

Long term survival on S-1 monotherapy in a patient with recurrent stage IV pancreatic cancer.

JOP 2008 Mar 8;9(2):185-91. Epub 2008 Mar 8.

Yale University School of Medicine. New Haven, CT, USA.

Context: Pancreatic cancer is the third most common gastrointestinal malignancy in the United States. Due to difficulty in diagnosis, 40% of patients are stage IV by the time of diagnosis and median survival is only four to six months. Current therapy for advanced pancreatic cancer focuses largely on gemcitabine. However, a relatively new drug, S-1, is showing promising results. Phase II studies of S-1 monotherapy and recent combination with gemcitabine were conducted for the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The early phase II study demonstrated a response rate approaching 20% while the combination is reaching more than 35%.

Case Report: We report a 68-year-old man who presented with stage IIB pancreatic cancer which advanced to stage IV after undergoing a Whipple procedure and adjuvant treatment with gemcitabine. The patient was refractory to treatment with gemcitabine as well as irinotecan, taxotere, and cetuximab. He subsequently participated in a trial involving the drug S-1. He achieved 10-month survival with preserved quality of life: he had 14 cycles of S-1 and maintained an ECOG performance status of 0-1 throughout.

Conclusion: For this patient, 14 cycles of S-1 were well-tolerated for 10 months after failing two prior chemotherapeutic regimens suggesting important insight that S-1 may be active and convenient for its oral use and it may have favorable safety profile in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Randomized trials are warranted to determine the effectiveness of S-1 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
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March 2008

Phase I and pharmacokinetic study of S-1 administered for 14 days in a 21-day cycle in patients with advanced upper gastrointestinal cancer.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2007 Feb 20;59(3):285-93. Epub 2006 Jun 20.

Massachusetts General Hospital, 100 Blossom Street, Cox 640, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Purpose: S-1 is a novel oral fluoropyrimidine that combines tegafur with CDHP and oxonic acid. To decrease the incidence of late onset, severe diarrhea observed in a previous study, a phase I study was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of S-1 utilizing a 14-day schedule, repeated every 21 days, in patients with chemotherapy-refractory upper gastrointestinal malignancies.

Methods: S-1 was administered orally, twice-daily, at an initial dose level of 30 mg/m2/dose; doses were escalated by 5 mg/m2 at each level. A minimum of three patients were enrolled at each dose level. S-1 toxicity, antitumor activity, and pharmacokinetics were assessed. The MTD was based on the dose limiting toxicity (DLT) during the first treatment cycle.

Results: At 30 mg/m2 no DLT was observed in the first three evaluable patients. Two of the first three patients at the 35 mg/m2 dose level developed DLTs (grade 3 rash and dehydration). An additional nine patients were subsequently treated at 30 mg/m2 without DLT and this dose was established as the MTD. Common toxicities at 30 mg/m2 included diarrhea, nausea, skin rash, anorexia, and fatigue. No grade 4 toxicities were observed. One partial response was seen in a patient with gemcitabine-refractory pancreatic adenocarcinoma and ten patients with pancreatic, gastric, or gallbladder carcinomas achieved stable disease as their best response to therapy. The AUC(0-8) of 5-FU at the 30 and 35 mg/m2 dose levels were 875 +/- 212 and 894 +/- 151 h ng/ml, respectively.

Conclusions: In a 14-day dosing schedule, the MTD of S-1 was 30 mg/m2 and preliminary evidence of antitumor activity was seen in a North American population with refractory upper gastrointestinal malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-006-0265-yDOI Listing
February 2007