• How can we improve our understanding of cardiovascular safety liabilities to develop safer medicines?

      Laverty, H G; Benson, C; Cartwright, E J; Cross, M J; Garland, C; Hammond, T; Holloway, C; McMahon, N; Milligan, J; Park, B K; et al. (2011-06)
      Given that cardiovascular safety liabilities remain a major cause of drug attrition during preclinical and clinical development, adverse drug reactions, and post-approval withdrawal of medicines, the Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Science hosted a workshop to discuss current challenges in determining, understanding and addressing 'Cardiovascular Toxicity of Medicines'. This article summarizes the key discussions from the workshop that aimed to address three major questions: (i) what are the key cardiovascular safety liabilities in drug discovery, drug development and clinical practice? (ii) how good are preclinical and clinical strategies for detecting cardiovascular liabilities? and (iii) do we have a mechanistic understanding of these liabilities? It was concluded that in order to understand, address and ultimately reduce cardiovascular safety liabilities of new therapeutic agents there is an urgent need to: • Fully characterize the incidence, prevalence and impact of drug-induced cardiovascular issues at all stages of the drug development process. • Ascertain the predictive value of existing non-clinical models and assays towards the clinical outcome. • Understand the mechanistic basis of cardiovascular liabilities; by addressing areas where it is currently not possible to predict clinical outcome based on preclinical safety data. • Provide scientists in all disciplines with additional skills to enable them to better integrate preclinical and clinical data and to better understand the biological and clinical significance of observed changes. • Develop more appropriate, highly relevant and predictive tools and assays to identify and wherever feasible to eliminate cardiovascular safety liabilities from molecules and wherever appropriate to develop clinically relevant and reliable safety biomarkers.
    • Influence of co-morbidity on renal function assessment by Cockcroft-Gault calculation in lung cancer and mesothelioma patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.

      Hubner, Richard A; Goldstein, R; Mitchell, S; Jones, A; Ashley, S; O'Brien, M E R; Popat, S; Dept Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2011-09)
      Creatinine clearance (CrCl) estimation by Cockcroft-Gault calculation (CG) often replaces measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by [(51)Cr]-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid clearance (EDTA). Co-morbidity, age, and renal impairment influence the accuracy of CG, whilst the relationship between CG and EDTA has been poorly assessed in lung cancer patients, a population significantly affected by these covariates.
    • Pathophysiology of radiation-induced growth hormone deficiency: efficacy and safety of GH replacement.

      Darzy, Ken H; Shalet, Stephen M; Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, United Kingdom. (2006-07)
      Radiation-induced growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is primarily due to hypothalamic damage. GH secretion by the pituitary may be affected either secondary to some degree of quantitative deprivation of hypothalamic input or, if the radiation dose is high enough, by direct pituitary damage. As a consequence, the neurosecretory profile of GH secretion in an irradiated patient remains pulsatile and qualitatively intact. The frequency of pulse generation is unaffected, but the amplitude of the GH pulses is markedly reduced. Over the last 25 years, the final heights achieved by children receiving GH replacement for radiation-induced GHD have improved; these improvements are attributable to refinements in GH dosing schedules, increased use of GnRH analogues for radiation-induced precocious puberty, and a reduced time interval between completion of irradiation and initiation of GH therapy. When retested at the completion of growth, 80-90% of these teenagers are likely to prove severely GH deficient and, therefore, will potentially benefit from GH replacement in adult life. Such long-term GH treatment in patients treated previously for a brain tumor means that critical and continuous surveillance must be devoted to the risk of tumor recurrence and the possibility of second neoplasms.
    • Safety and efficacy of first-line bevacizumab-based therapy in advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (SAiL, MO19390): a phase 4 study.

      Crinò, Lucio; Dansin, Eric; Garrido, Pilar; Griesinger, Frank; Laskin, Janessa; Pavlakis, Nick; Stroiakovski, Daniel; Thatcher, Nick; Tsai, Chun-Ming; Wu, Yi-long; et al. (2010-08)
      BACKGROUND: Results of two phase 3 trials have shown first-line bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy improves clinical outcomes in patients with advanced or recurrent non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The SAiL (MO19390) study was undertaken to assess the safety and efficacy of first-line bevacizumab combined with standard chemotherapy regimens in clinical practice. METHODS: Between August, 2006, and June, 2008, patients with untreated locally advanced, metastatic, or recurrent non-squamous NSCLC were recruited to this open-label, single group, phase 4 study from centres in 40 countries. Eligible patients had histologically or cytologically documented inoperable, locally advanced, metastatic, or recurrent disease (stage IIIB-IV); an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2; and adequate haematological, hepatic, and renal function. Patients received bevacizumab (7.5 or 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks) plus standard chemotherapy for up to six cycles, followed by single-agent bevacizumab until disease progression. The primary endpoint was safety; analysis was by intention to treat (ITT). This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00451906. FINDINGS: At the final data cutoff (July 24, 2009), an ITT population of 2212 patients was assessed. The incidence of clinically significant (grade > or = 3) adverse events of special interest was generally low; thromboembolism occurred in 172 (8%) patients, hypertension in 125 (6%), bleeding in 80 (4%), proteinuria in 67 (3%), and pulmonary haemorrhage in 15 (1%). 57 (3%) patients died because of these adverse events, with thromboembolism (26 patients, 1%) and bleeding (17, 1%) as the most common causes. The most common grade 3 or higher serious adverse events deemed by investigators to be associated with bevacizumab were pulmonary embolism (28 patients; 1%) and epistaxis, neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, and deep vein thrombosis (all of which occurred in 13 patients [1%]). Bevacizumab was temporarily interrupted after 28 (2%) of 1347 bleeding events and 72 (7%) of 1025 hypertension events, and permanently discontinued after 110 (8%) bleeding events and 40 (4%) hypertension events. No new safety signals were reported. INTERPRETATION: Our results confirm the manageable safety profile of first-line bevacizumab in combination with various standard chemotherapy regimens for treatment of advanced non-squamous NSCLC. FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
    • Vaccination of colorectal cancer patients with modified vaccinia Ankara delivering the tumor antigen 5T4 (TroVax) induces immune responses which correlate with disease control: a phase I/II trial.

      Harrop, Richard; Connolly, Noel B; Redchenko, Irina; Valle, Juan W; Saunders, Mark P; Ryan, Matthew G; Myers, Kevin A; Drury, Noel L; Kingsman, Susan M; Hawkins, Robert E; et al. (2006-06-01)
      PURPOSE: The highly attenuated strain of vaccinia virus, modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), encoding the tumor antigen 5T4 (termed TroVax), has been evaluated in an open-label phase I/II study in colorectal cancer patients. The primary objectives were to assess the safety and immunogenicity of ascending doses of TroVax and to determine the biodistribution of the vector. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: TroVax was given to 22 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Seventeen patients received doses of TroVax ranging from 5 x 10(7) up to 5 x 10(8) plaque-forming units at 0, 4, and 8 weeks and were considered to be evaluable for assessment of immunologic responses. Both antibody and cellular responses specific for the tumor antigen 5T4 and the viral vector were monitored throughout the study. RESULTS: TroVax was well tolerated in all patients with no serious adverse events attributed to vaccination. Of 17 evaluable patients, 16 showed 5T4-specific cellular responses whereas 14 had detectable antibody levels following vaccination. TroVax was able to boost 5T4-specific immune responses in the presence of MVA neutralizing antibodies. Periods of disease stabilization ranging from 3 to 18 months were observed in five patients, all of whom mounted 5T4-specific immune responses. Furthermore, statistical analysis showed a positive association between the development of a 5T4 (but not MVA) antibody response and patient survival or time to disease progression. CONCLUSION: These data indicate that vaccination with TroVax is safe and well tolerated and that immune responses to 5T4 can be induced without any evidence of autoimmune toxicity. Furthermore, 5T4-specific antibody responses correlate with evidence of disease control.