To determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of cyclosporine (CsA) infusion administered with etoposide for 3 days in patients with cancer.Of the 72 registered patients, 26 were treated initially with CsA and etoposide. Forty-six received etoposide alone until disease progression, and 31 of these proceeded to CsA and etoposide. CsA was administered as a 2-hour loading dose (LD) and as a 3-day continuous infusion (CI); doses were escalated from 2 to 8 mg/kg LD and 5 to 24 mg/kg/d CI.Fifty-seven patients were treated with 113 cycles of CsA with etoposide. Steady-state serum CsA levels (nonspecific immunoassay) more than 2,000 ng/mL were achieved in 91% of the cycles at CsA doses > or = 5 mg/kg LD and > or = 15 mg/kg/d CI. The major dose-related toxicity of CsA was reversible hyperbilirubinemia, which occurred in 78% of the courses with CsA levels > 2,000 ng/mL. Myelosuppression and nausea were more severe with CsA and etoposide. Other CsA toxicities included hypomagnesemia, 60%; hypertension, 29%; and headache, 21%. Nephrotoxicity was mild in 12% and severe in 2% of the cycles. Tumor regressions occurred in four patients after the addition of CsA (one non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, one Hodgkin's disease, and two ovarian carcinomas). Biopsy procedures for tumors from three of the four patients who responded were performed, and the results were positive for mdr1 expression.Serum CsA levels of up to 4 mumol/L (4,800 ng/mL) are achievable during a short-term administration with acceptable toxicities when administered in combination with etoposide. The CsA dose that is recommended in adults is a LD of 5 to 6 mg/kg, followed by a CI of 15 to 18 mg/kg/d for 60 hours. CsA blood levels should be monitored and the doses should be adjusted to achieve CsA levels of 2.5 to 4 mumol/L (3,000 to 4,800 ng/mL). Reversible hyperbilirubinemia may be a useful marker of inhibition by CsA of P-glycoprotein function. When used with high-dose CsA, etoposide doses should be reduced by approximately 50% to compensate for the pharmacokinetic effects of CsA on etoposide (Lum et al, J Clin Oncol, 10:1635-1642, 1992).
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JQ71900018
View details for PubMedID 1403040