Randomized phase II trial comparing different doses of the bisphosphonate ibandronate in the treatment of hypercalcemia of malignancy

M Pecherstorfer, Z Herrmann, J J Body, C Manegold, M Degardin, M R Clemens, B Thürlimann, M Tubiana-Hulin, E U Steinhauer, M van Eijkeren, H J Huss, D Thiébaud
Journal of Clinical Oncology 1996, 14 (1): 268-76

PURPOSE: To evaluate the hypocalcemic effect and safety of three different doses of the bisphosphonate ibandronate in tumor-associated hypercalcemia, and to identify factors predicting response.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred seventy-four cancer patients with a serum calcium level greater than 2.7 mmol/L (10.8 mg/dL) were enrolled onto the trial. If hypercalcemia persisted after fluid repletion, patients were randomly assigned to treatment with 0.6 mg, 1.1 mg, and 2.0 mg of ibandronate. Response, defined as restoration of normocalcemia, was evaluated by an intent-to-treat analysis.

RESULTS: One hundred seventy-three (99%) patients were assessable for toxicity and 151 (87%) for efficacy. The administration of 0.6 mg (group A), 1.1 mg (group B), or 2.0 mg (group C) of ibandronate led to response rates of 44%, 52%, and 67%, respectively. Significantly more patients in group C responded than in group A (P = .0276). Of the various parameters examined, only the initial serum calcium level (P < .0001; odds ratio, 0.083) and the dose of ibandronate (P = .0162; odds ratio, 2.094) correlated with response. One hundred ninety-five adverse events (AEs) were reported, 99 classified as serious and 96 as nonserious. Three serious and sixteen nonserious AEs were considered related to ibandronate treatment. The three serious AEs were one case with thrombocytopenia, one with nausea, and one with fever.

CONCLUSION: Ibandronate therapy led to a dose-dependent reduction in serum calcium levels. The response to ibandronate treatment correlated negatively with the initial serum calcium level and positively with the dose administered. A dose of 2 mg was necessary to achieve a response rate comparable to that in previous studies with the bisphosphonates pamidronate and clodronate. Because the incidence of drug-associated AEs was low, a dose escalation of ibandronate can be recommended for further clinical trials.

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