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Revisiting the definition of dose-limiting toxicities in paediatric oncology phase I clinical trials: An analysis from the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer Consortium

  • Francisco Bautista
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author: Fax: +34 915 035 902.
    Affiliations
    Clinical Research Unit, Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant Department, Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús, Avenida Menéndez Pelayo, 65, 28009, Madrid, Spain
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  • Lucas Moreno
    Affiliations
    Clinical Research Unit, Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant Department, Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús, Avenida Menéndez Pelayo, 65, 28009, Madrid, Spain
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  • Lynley Marshall
    Affiliations
    Pediatric Drug Development Team, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Division of Cancer Therapeutics and Clinical Studies, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton SM2 5NG, UK
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  • Andrew D.J. Pearson
    Affiliations
    Pediatric Drug Development Team, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Division of Cancer Therapeutics and Clinical Studies, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton SM2 5NG, UK
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Xavier Paoletti and Birgit Geoerger are both senior co-authors of this manuscript.
    Birgit Geoerger
    Footnotes
    1 Xavier Paoletti and Birgit Geoerger are both senior co-authors of this manuscript.
    Affiliations
    Gustave Roussy, Pediatric and Adolescent Oncology, Villejuif, France

    CNRS UMR8203, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Xavier Paoletti and Birgit Geoerger are both senior co-authors of this manuscript.
    Xavier Paoletti
    Footnotes
    1 Xavier Paoletti and Birgit Geoerger are both senior co-authors of this manuscript.
    Affiliations
    Gustave Roussy, Biostatistics and Epidemiology Unit, Villejuif, France

    INSERM U1018, CESP, Univ. Paris-Sud, Univ. Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Xavier Paoletti and Birgit Geoerger are both senior co-authors of this manuscript.
Published:October 19, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.09.015

      Highlights

      • A new set of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and recommended phase II dose (RP2D) definitions have been issued for molecularly targeted agents' adult phase I trials.
      • We analysed the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer Consortium dose-finding trials and conducted a survey with among expert pediatricians.
      • Several proposals for adult dose-finding trials are translated in paediatric studies.
      • DLTs should be homogeneously defined across trials.
      • Definition of RP2D should include delayed toxicities and supported by pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics data.

      Abstract

      Background

      Dose-escalation trials aim to identify the maximum tolerated dose and, importantly, the recommended phase II dose (RP2D) and rely on the occurrence of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) during the first treatment cycle. Molecularly targeted agents (MTAs) often follow continuous and prolonged administrations, displaying a distinct toxicity profile compared to conventional chemotherapeutics, and classical DLT criteria might not be appropriate to evaluate MTAs' toxicity. We investigated this issue in children.

      Methods

      The Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer Consortium (ITCC) phase I trials of novel anticancer agents between 2004 and 2015 were analysed. Data from investigational product, trial design, items defining DLT/RP2D were extracted. A survey on dose-escalation process, DLTs and RP2D definition was conducted among the ITCC clinical trials committee members.

      Results

      Thirteen phase I trials with 15 dose-escalation cohorts were analysed. They explored 11 MTAs and 2 novel cytotoxics; 12 evaluated DLT during cycle 1. Definition of DLT was heterogeneous: Grade III–IV haematologic toxicities that were transient or asymptomatic and grade III–IV non-haematological toxicities manageable with adequate supportive care were often excluded, whereas some included dose intensity or grade II toxicities into DLT. None of the studies considered delayed toxicity into the RP2D definition.

      Conclusion

      DLTs should be homogeneously defined across trials, limiting the number of exceptions due to specific toxicities. Dose escalation should still be based on safety data from cycle 1, but delayed and overall toxicities, pharmacokinetic parameters and pharmacodynamic data should be considered to refine the final RP2D. The evaluation of long-term toxicity in the developing child cannot be adequately addressed in early trials.

      Keywords

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