A phase II trial of arsenic trioxide in patients with metastatic melanoma

Authors

  • Kevin B. Kim M.D.,

    1. Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Agop Y. Bedikian M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    • Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Unit 430, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030
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    • Fax: (713) 745-1046

  • Luis H. Camacho M.D.,

    1. Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Nicholas E. Papadopoulos M.D.,

    1. Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • Cecilia McCullough R.N.

    1. Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Arsenic trioxide induces growth inhibition and apoptosis in human melanoma cell lines. Therefore, a Phase II trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of single-agent arsenic trioxide in patients with Stage IV melanoma.

METHODS

Twenty patients, 10 with metastatic melanoma of cutaneous origin and 10 with metastatic melanoma of choroidal origin, received arsenic trioxide 0.25 mg/kg/day for 5 days, followed by a maintenance dose of 0.35 mg/kg/day twice a week. All patients with melanoma of cutaneous origin and four patients with melanoma of choroidal origin had received prior therapy.

RESULTS

Single-agent arsenic trioxide did not induce clinical response in this patient population. Eight patients (five with melanoma of cutaneous origin, and three with melanoma of choroidal origin) had disease stabilization for at least six weeks. The median overall survival duration for patients with melanoma of cutaneous origin was 7.9 months, and that of patients with melanoma of choroidal origin has not been reached at a median follow-up duration of 11.8 months. Grade 3 toxicity included neutropenia, fatigue, abdominal pain, and arthralgia. Grade 4 toxicity did not occur.

CONCLUSIONS

Single-agent arsenic trioxide was generally well tolerated; however, no tumor regression was observed in this patient population. Future clinical trials should evaluate arsenic trioxide in combination with other anticancer drugs that may improve its clinical activity in melanoma. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.

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