Suramin represents a new class of antitumor drugs that targets growth factor networks. In this Phase II trial, suramin was administered by continuous infusion to 10 patients with advanced breast cancer. The target level of 280 μg/ml suramin was achieved in a median of 10 days; toxicities in this patient group were low. We monitored the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) network in these patients because of the previously defined growth- promoting role of the IGFs in breast cancer. Plasma levels of total IGF-I and total IGF-II showed variable responses to suramin with median decreases of 24 and 23%, respectively, for the 10 patients; for total IGF-I levels, this did not reach statistical significance. On the other hand, free IGF-I plasma levels were consistently and dramatically increased (over 250%) after suramin infusion. IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs), modulators of IGF bioavailability, were also measured. Levels of IGFBP-3, the major carrier of IGFs in the circulation, were decreased 21% after suramin treatment when measured by immunoradiometric assay. However, the majority of the plasma IGFBP-3 remaining after suramin was not the intact high-affinity IGF-binding form but rather a 30-kDa fragment with markedly reduced affinity for IGF-I. IGFBP-3 protease activity was evident in the plasma of 3 of 10 patients after suramin. Measurements of plasma IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-4 revealed no significant changes in response to suramin. The dramatic increase in active free IGF-I seen after suramin raises concern and underscores the importance of measuring relevant biomarkers in clinical trials.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Clinical Cancer Research|
|State||Published - Oct 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research