BACKGROUND - Bryostatin 1 is a marine derived macrolactone with antineoplastic activity modulated through protein kinase C, and with good activity in in vitro and in vivo models. There are few drugs that offer palliation for metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma and head and neck cancer, and drugs with new mechanisms of action warrant detailed disease specific study.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Two phase II studies for patients with incurable soft tissue sarcoma (12), or head and neck cancer (12) were conducted. Patients were treated with bryostatin, 120 mg/m2/72 hours every 2 weeks for 3 cycles prior to re-evaluation. Most patients had received prior chemotherapy.
RESULTS - No patients had objective responses to therapy. Six patients had brief periods of disease stabilization. Toxicity was generally mild, with myalgia being prominent (n=8). Hyponatremia, not previously described, occurred in 5 patients. The mechanism of this toxicity was unclear.
CONCLUSIONS - Bryosytatin 1 given as a single agent for advanced adult soft tissue sarcoma and head and neck cancer is inactive. Myalgia and hyponatremia were the predominant toxicities.