Toxicity Grade:4
Treatments:Biologic therapy
Country:United States
City/State/Province:Boston, Massachusetts
Hospital:Massachusetts General Hospital
Patients: This Phase I study involved 21 patients with a variety of different solid tumors. Two of the 21 patients had mesothelioma.

Treatment: The treatment consisted of the administration of an extract (Ecteinascidin 743 (ET-743) a cytotoxic tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloid) from a marine animal called a tunicate (Ecteinascidia turbinate).

Toxicity: Grade 3-4 toxicities included hematologic, transaminitis, cardiac, rhabdomyolysis, renal, fatigue and nausea/vomiting.Results: One of the two mesothelioma patients had a 41% reduction by CT scan in the size of disease in the mediastinal lymph nodes and a pulmonary nodule. This patient’s cancer ultimately grew. Overall survival was not discussed.Support: Research support came from PharmaMar S.A. This company markets ET-743.

Correspondence: David P. Ryan, MD