Phase II study of RC-160 (vapreotide), an octapeptide analogue of somatostatin, in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
O'Byrne KJ., Dobbs N., Propper DJ., Braybrooke JP., Koukourakis MI., Mitchell K., Woodhull J., Talbot DC., Schally AV., Harris AL.
RC-160 (octastatin/vapreotide) is a potent octapeptide analogue of somatostatin with growth inhibitory activity in experimental tumours in vitro and in vivo, including breast cancer. We evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of high-dose RC-160, 3 mg day(-1) on week 1 increased to 4.5 mg day(-1) for weeks 2-4 and subsequently 6 mg day(-1) until the end of treatment, administered by continuous subcutaneous infusion in the management of 14 women with previously treated metastatic breast cancer. The age range was 37-80 years (median 58.5 years) and performance status 0-2. The treatment was well tolerated with no dose reductions being required. No grade 3 or 4 toxicities were seen. Abscess formation developed at the infusion site in eight patients and erythema and discomfort was seen in a further three patients. A significant reduction in IGF-I levels occurred by day 7 and was maintained throughout the treatment. The lowest dose of RC-160 produced the maximal IGF-I response. Although there was no reduction in prolactin levels in patients whose baseline levels were normal, elevated prolactin levels found in three patients fell to within the normal range 7 days after commencing RC-160 treatment. A small but significant rise in fasting blood glucose levels was also recorded, the highest level on treatment being 7.6 mmol l(-1). No objective tumour responses were observed, all patients showing disease progression within 3 months of commencing treatment. These findings demonstrate that high-dose RC-160, administered as a continuous subcutaneous infusion, can reduce serum levels of the breast growth factors IGF-I and prolactin but is ineffective in the management of metastatic breast cancer. Encouraging preclinical anti-tumour activity and the favourable toxicity profile in patients suggest the merit of future studies combining RC-160 with anti-oestrogen, cytotoxic and anti-angiogenic agents.