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Keywords:

  • chemotherapy-refractory prostate carcinoma;
  • monthly suramin;
  • dexamethasone;
  • prostate-specific antigen

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The goal of the current study was to determine the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and objective response rates and the pharmacokinetics associated with a monthly × 3 one-hour infusion of suramin in 58 patients with hormone-refractory prostate carcinoma.

METHODS

A PSA response was defined as a > 50% reduction in the PSA level from baseline for at least 3 consecutive evaluations over a minimum of 6 weeks. The suramin dose was 2400 mg/m2 taken intravenously on Day 1, 1620 mg/m2 on Day 29, and 1292 mg/m2 on Day 57. All patients received 0.5 mg dexamethasone twice daily.

RESULTS

Among 56 evaluable patients (median entry PSA level, 229.5 ng/mL), there were 21 PSA responders (37.5%). Among 27 patients with measurable disease, there were 5 responders (4 partial and 1 complete). The median overall survival time was 15.3 months. Grade III fatigue (14.1%) was the predominant toxicity observed. Suramin plasma levels remained high even 3 months after treatment was discontinued. Among the 12 evaluable patients who previously had received chemotherapy, the PSA response rate was 42%; one response was observed among 4 patients with measurable disease, and the median survival was 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Monthly bolus suramin was well tolerated, reduced PSA levels, and induced objective responses, even in patients who previously had received chemotherapy. Cancer 2004;100:65–71. © 2003 American Cancer Society.