Phase I study of intrapleural batimastat (BB-94), a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, in the treatment of malignant pleural effusions.
Macaulay VM., O'Byrne KJ., Saunders MP., Braybrooke JP., Long L., Gleeson F., Mason CS., Harris AL., Brown P., Talbot DC.
Tumor cells and associated stromal cells secrete matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), contributing to invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Batimastat (BB-94) is a broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor that causes resolution of ascites and/or tumor growth delay in animal models of breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancer. We recruited 18 patients with cytologically positive malignant pleural effusions into a Phase I study of intrapleural BB-94. Three patients received single doses of BB-94 at each dose level: 15, 30, 60, 105, 135, and 300 mg/m2. Two patients were retreated with a second course at 60 and 105 mg/m2. BB-94 was detectable in plasma 1 h after intrapleural administration, and peak levels of 20-200 ng/ml occurred after 4 h to 1 week. BB-94 persisted in the plasma for up to 12 weeks, at levels exceeding the IC50s for target MMPs. Peak values were higher, and persistence in the plasma was longer after higher doses of BB-94. The treatment was well tolerated. Toxic effects included low-grade fever for 24-48 h (6 of 18 patients, 33%) and reversible asymptomatic elevation of liver enzymes (8 patients, 44%). Toxicity seemed unrelated to BB-94 dose or plasma levels. Sixteen patients evaluable for response required significantly fewer pleural aspirations in the 3 months after BB-94 compared with the 3 months before. Seven patients (44%) required no further pleural aspiration until death/last follow-up. After 1 month, patients treated with 60-300 mg/m2 BB-94 had significantly better dyspnea scores, indicating improved exercise tolerance, compared with baseline scores the day after BB-94. The maximum tolerated intrapleural dose remains to be defined, but it is clear that intrapleural BB-94 is well tolerated, with evidence of local activity.