Sorafenib administered using a high-dose, pulsatile regimen in patients with advanced solid malignancies: a phase I exposure escalation study

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Background: (Pre)clinical evidence is accumulating that intermittent exposure to increased doses of protein kinase inhibitors may improve their treatment benefit. In this phase I trial, the safety of high-dose, pulsatile sorafenib was studied. Patients and methods: High-dose sorafenib was administered once weekly in exposure escalation cohorts according to a 3 + 3 design. Drug monitoring was performed in weeks 1–3 and doses were adjusted to achieve a predefined target plasma area under the curve (AUC)(0–12 h). The effect of low gastric pH on improving sorafenib exposure was investigated by intake of the acidic beverage cola. Results: Seventeen patients with advanced malignancies without standard treatment options were included. Once weekly, high-dose sorafenib exposure was escalated up to a target AUC(0–12 h) of 125–150 mg/L/h, achieving a twofold higher Cmax compared to standard continuous dosing. Dose-limiting toxicity was observed in three patients: grade 3 duodenal perforation (2800 mg sorafenib), grade 5 multiorgan failure (2800 mg sorafenib) and grade 5 biliary tract perforation (3600 mg sorafenib). The mean difference between observed and target AUC(0–12 h) was 45% (SD ± 56%) in week 1 using a fixed starting dose of sorafenib compared to 2% (SD ± 32%) in week 3 as a result of drug monitoring (P = 0.06). Dissolving sorafenib in cola, instead of water, did not improve sorafenib exposure. Clinical benefit with stable disease as the best response was observed in two patients. Conclusion: Treatment with high-dose, once weekly sorafenib administration resulted in dose-limiting toxicity precluding dose escalation above the exposure cohort of 125–150 mg/L/h. Drug monitoring was a successful strategy to pursue a target exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-940
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

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