Phase I evaluation of coumarin (1,2-benzopyrone) and cimetidine in patients with advanced malignancies.

M. E. Marshall, K. Butler, A. Fried

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Fifty-four patients with advanced malignancies were treated on this phase I trial of coumarin and cimetidine. The dose of coumarin was escalated, with three patients treated at each dose level, while the cimetidine dose was held constant at 300 mg four times daily. Patients received coumarin alone as a single daily oral dose for 14 days; on day 15, cimetidine was added and both drugs were continued until progression of disease. This trial was initiated with patients receiving coumarin at 400 mg daily and closed at 7 g daily with four of five patients on this dose experiencing nausea and vomiting. Treatment was generally well tolerated over a wide range of coumarin doses. Symptomatic side effects were few, mild, and usually self limited. Side effects included insomnia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dizziness. Two patients withdrew from therapy because of daily nausea and vomiting. Typically, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness occurred 2.5-3 hours after a dose of coumarin. In most patients, these side effects abated spontaneously with continuation of therapy. There was no significant hematologic or renal toxicity. Hepatotoxicity occurred in only one patient and was manifested by asymptomatic abnormal elevations of serum hepatic transaminases. This toxicity was reversible upon interruption of therapy. Objective tumor regressions were observed in six patients with renal cell carcinoma. Responses occurred at coumarin doses ranging from 600 mg to 5 g daily. Coumarin is a relatively nontoxic, oral, outpatient therapy that warrants further investigations for the treatment of human malignancies. Because of its low toxicity, there is potential for combining coumarin with chemotherapeutic and/or biological agents in an attempt to improve on efficacy.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-178
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular biotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


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