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High dose cyclosporin with etoposide - Toxicity and pharmacokinetic interaction in children with solid tumours

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alan Boddy, Huw ThomasORCiD


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The tolerability, anti-tumour activity and pharmacokinetic interaction of high-dose intravenous cyclosporin combined with intraveous etoposide was evaluated in children. Eighteen patients with recurrent or refractory tumours, all of whom had previously received etoposide, were treated with a combination of high-dose cyclosporin and etoposide. In 13, cyclosporin was given as a continuous infusion (15 mg kg-1 per 24 h for 60 h) and in five a short 3-hour infusion of 30 mg kg-1 day-1 on three consecutive days. Pharmacokinetic profiles of etoposide were determined with and without cyclosporin, Cyclosporin levels ranged from 1359 to 4835 ng ml-1 and cyclosporin increased the median area under the concentration time for etoposide curve from 7.2 to 12.5 mg ml-1 min. The major toxicity was acute with varying forms of hypersensitivity reactions. In four cases this was severe. Hyperbilirubinaemia was present in 25 of 32 courses but was of short duration. In 14 courses, creatinine and/or urea was elevated, but was also transient. Significant hypertension was seen in six courses. Four of 17 patients evaluable for response obtained a partial response and one showed stable disease. It is concluded that in children given the combination of high-dose cyclosporin and etoposide, the etoposide dose should be halved in order to achieve an area under the drug concentration-time curve similar to that with etoposide alone. A continuous infusion schedule of cyclosporin is better tolerated during the period of administration but is associated with similar hepatic and renal dysfunction to a short schedule. The 24% response rate in children who had previously received etoposide suggests that this may be an effective method of enhancing drug sensitivity and further phase II evaluation is justified.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bisogno G, Cowie F, Boddy AV, Thomas HD, Dick G, Pinkerton C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Cancer

Year: 1998

Volume: 77

Issue: 12

Pages: 2304-2309

Print publication date: 01/01/1998

ISSN (print): 0007-0920

ISSN (electronic):


PubMed id: 9649150