A phase II and pharmacokinetic study of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma
A total of 14 Chinese patients with inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma received a liposomal formulation of daunorubicin (DaunoXome) at a dose equivalent to 100 mg/m2 of the free drug every 3 weeks. Altogether, 12 patients were assessable for response; 2 patients had stable disease for 8 weeks, but all eventually developed progressive disease and there was no responder. The drug was well tolerated, with no evidence of cardiac toxicity being observed. Deterioration of liver-function tests was attributed to progressive tumors in the terminal stage of the disease. Pharmacokinetics studies revealed a biexponential decay for daunorubicin in association with mean initial and terminal half-lives of 1.8 and 7.4 h, respectively, and a mean total clearance of 15.0 ± 5.5 ml/min. The AUC ratio between the metabolite daunorubicinol and daunorubicin was 0.07. These data differ markedly from the pharmacokinetics of the free drug.