The standard-of-care for advanced small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is chemotherapy with cisplatin+etoposide (C+E). Most patients have chemosensitive disease at the outset, but disease frequently relapses and limits survival. Efforts to improve therapeutic outcomes in SCLC and other neuroendocrine cancers have focused on epigenetic agents, including the histone deacetylase inhibitor belinostat. The primary objective was to determine the maximum tolerated dose of the combination of belinostat (B) with C+E. Belinostat was administered as a 48-h continuous intravenous infusion on days 1-2; cisplatin was administered as a 1-h intravenous infusion on day 2; and etoposide was administered as a 1-h intravenous infusion on days 2, 3, and 4. Twenty-eight patients were recruited in this single-center study. The maximum tolerated dose was belinostat 500 mg/m2/24 h, cisplatin 60 mg/m2, and etoposide 80 mg/m2. The combination was safe, although some patients were more susceptible to adverse events. Hematologic toxicities were most commonly observed. Objective responses were observed in 11 (39%) of 28 patients and seven (47%) of 15 patients with neuroendocrine tumors (including SCLC). Patients carrying more than three copies of variant UGT1A1 (∗28 and ∗60) had higher serum levels of belinostat because of slower clearance. DNA damage peaked at 36 h after the initiation of belinostat, as did global lysine acetylation, but returned to baseline 12 h after the end of infusion. The combination of B+C+E is safe and active in SCLC and other neuroendocrine cancers. Future phase II studies should consider genotyping patients for UGT1A1∗28 and UGT1A1∗60 and to identify patients at an increased risk of adverse events.
- Advanced carcinomas
- Histone deacetylase inhibitors
- Phase I
- Small cell lung cancer