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A phase II trial of the vitamin D analogue Seocalcitol (EB1089) in patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600162
  • Clinical
  • Medicine


Inoperable cancer of the exocrine pancreas responds poorly to most conventional anti-cancer agents, and new agents are required to palliate this disease. Seocalcitol (EB1089), a vitamin D analogue, can inhibit growth, induce differentiation and induce apoptosis of cancer cell lines in vitro and can also inhibit growth of pancreatic cancer xenografts in vivo. Thirty-six patients with advanced pancreatic cancer received once daily oral treatment with seocalcitol with dose escalation every 2 weeks until hypercalcaemia occurred, following which patients continued with maintenance therapy. The most frequent toxicity was the anticipated dose-dependent hypercalcaemia, with most patients tolerating a dose of 10–15 μg per day in chronic administration. Fourteen patients completed at least 8 weeks of treatment and were evaluable for efficacy, whereas 22 patients were withdrawn prior to completing 8 weeks' treatment and in 20 of these patients withdrawal was due to clinical deterioration as a result of disease progression. No objective responses were observed, with five of 14 patients having stable disease in whom the duration of stable disease was 82–532 days (median=168 days). The time to treatment failure (n=36) ranged from 22 to 847 days, and with a median survival of approximately 100 days. Seocalcitol is well tolerated in pancreatic cancer but has no objective anti-tumour activity in advanced disease. Further studies are necessary to determine if this agent has any cytostatic activity in this malignancy in minimal disease states. British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 680–685. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600162 © 2002 Cancer Research UK

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