A phase II evaluation of elesclomol sodium and weekly paclitaxel in the treatment of recurrent or persistent platinum-resistant ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer: An NRG oncology/gynecologic oncology group study

Published:October 08, 2018DOI:


      • Elesclomol increases reactive oxygen species and enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy in preclinical models.
      • There is no added clinical benefit to paclitaxel when elesclomol is added to treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer.
      • The combination of paclitaxel and elesclomol is well tolerated.



      Preclinical data suggest elesclomol increases oxidative stress and enhances sensitivity to cytotoxic agents. The objective of this prospective multicenter phase 2 trial was to estimate the activity of IV elesclomol plus weekly paclitaxel in patients with platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer through the frequency of objective tumor responses (ORR).


      Patients with measurable disease, acceptable organ function, performance status ≤ 2, and one prior platinum containing regimen were eligible. A two-stage design was utilized with a target sample size of 22 and 30 subjects, respectively. Prior Gynecologic Oncology Group studies within the same population involving single agent taxanes showed an ORR of approximately (20%) and served as a historical control for direct comparison. The present study was designed to determine if the regimen had an ORR of ≥40% with 90% power.


      Fifty-eight patients were enrolled, of whom 2 received no study treatment and were inevaluable. The median number of cycles was 3 (268 total cycles, range 1–18). The number of patients responding was 11 (19.6%; 90% CI 11.4% to 30.4%) with one complete response. The median progression-free survival and overall survival was 3.6 months and 13.3 months, respectively. The median ORR duration was 9.2 months. Percentages of subjects with grade 3 toxicity included: Neutropenia 9%; anemia 5%; metabolic 5%; nausea 4%; infection 4%; neurologic (mostly neuropathy) 4%; and vascular (mostly thromboembolism) 4%. There were no grade 4 toxicities reported.


      This combination was well tolerated but is unworthy of further investigation based on the proportion responding [ Identifier: NCT00888615].


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