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Rhizoxin is a tubulin-binding cytotoxic compound, isolated from the fungus Rhizopus chinensis, with significant antineoplastic activity in several murine and human tumor models. In this Phase I study, the drug was administered by i.v. bolus injection at 3-wk intervals. Twenty-four patients with refractory solid tumors were treated; 60 courses of rhizoxin were given, at doses ranging from 0.8 to 2.6 mg/m2. Grade 3 mucositis, Grade 4 leukopenia, and Grade 3 diarrhea were dose limiting but reversible at 2.6 mg/m2, the maximum tolerated dose for both previously untreated and heavily pretreated patients. Alopecia and moderate discomfort at the injection site occurred at all doses. Other sequelae, including peripheral neuropathy, phlebitis, and nausea and vomiting, were sporadic and mild. Two heavily pretreated patients with recurrent breast cancer had minor responses to rhizoxin, one at 1.6 mg/m2 and the other at 2.6 mg/m2. Plasma concentrations of rhizoxin were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. The drug was not detectable (less than 5 ng/ml) at doses of 0.8 mg/m2 and 1.6 mg/m2 and was not measurable 10 min after injection at 2.0 mg/m2. At 2.6 mg/m2, there was considerable intersubject variation in the plasma concentration-time profiles; the area under the curve ranged from 0.29 to 0.96 microgram/ml.min. Rhizoxin has shown some clinical activity in this Phase I study, and a dose of 2.0 mg/m2 is recommended for Phase II studies using this schedule.


Journal article


Cancer Res

Publication Date





2894 - 2898


Adult, Aged, Animals, Antibiotics, Antineoplastic, Body Weight, Diarrhea, Drug Administration Schedule, Drug Evaluation, Female, Hindlimb, Humans, Injections, Intraperitoneal, Lactones, Leukopenia, Macrolides, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Paralysis