HOUSTONDynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has shown PTK787/ZK
222584 (PTK/ZK), an antiangiogenesis agent, to be capable of blocking vascular
endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)/VEGF activity in recurrent
glioblastoma multiforme (ASCO abstract 315).
W.K. Alfred Yung, MD, Florence M. Thomas Professor of Cancer at M.D.
Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, reported that vascular permeability was seen
to decrease immediately after most patients received their first dose of PTK/ZK
in a single-agent dose-escalation study. Although a rebound was observed, the
vascular permeability index was not as high as at baseline for patients with
stable disease or a partial response.
"We are seeing people stabilizing, and the tumor volume decreasing.
This is very encouraging in a phase I study," Dr. Yung told ONI.
Failed Other Treatments
Among 29 patients treated so far, 2 have had their disease stabilize and 2
have had their tumors shrink. Although the patients had a life expectancy of 8
weeks when they entered the trial, Dr. Yung said that several have survived
beyond 6 months.
All of the patients in the study had failed other treatments, and 83% had
had adjuvant therapy. The mean time from diagnosis to patients entering the
study was 13 months. Average age was 54.
The investigators chose to study PTK/ZK in glioblastoma multiforme because
the malignancy is characterized by vascular proliferation and over expression
of VEGF, Dr. Yung explained. He said that a parallel study is underway in colon
cancer and sarcomas.