A Phase II trial of cisplatin plus WR-2721 (amifostine) for metastatic breast carcinoma: An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Study (E8188)

William J. Gradishar*, Patricia Stephenson, Donna J. Glover, Donna S. Neuberg, Melvin R. Moore, Harold E. Windschitl, Ira Piel, Martin D. Abeloff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Cisplatin has minimal antitumor activity when used as second- or third-line treatment of metastatic breast carcinoma. Older reports suggest an objective response rate of 8% when 60-120 mg/m2 of cisplatin is administered every 3-4 weeks. Although a dose-response effect has been observed with cisplatin, the dose-limiting toxicities associated with cisplatin (e.g., nephrotoxicity, ototoxicity, and neurotoxicity) have limited its use as a treatment for breast carcinoma. WR-2721 or amifostine initially was developed to protect military personnel in the event of nuclear war. Amifostine subsequently was shown to protect normal tissues from the toxic effects of alkylating agents and cisplatin without decreasing the antitumor effect of the chemotherapy. Early trials of cisplatin and amifostine also suggested that the incidence and severity of cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity, ototoxicity, and neuropathy were reduced. METHODS. A Phase II study of the combination of cisplatin plus amifostine was conducted in patients with progressive metastatic breast carcinoma who had received one, but not more than one, chemotherapy regimen for metastatic disease. Patients received amifostine, 910 mg/m2 intravenously over 15 minutes. After completion of the amifostine infusion, cisplatin 120 mg/m2 was administered over 30 minutes. Intravenous hydration and mannitol was administered before and after cisplatin. Treatment was administered every 3 weeks until disease progression. RESULTS. Forty-four patients were enrolled in the study of which 7 (16%) were ineligible. A median of 2 cycles of therapy was administered to the 37 eligible patients. Six partial responses were observed for an overall response rate of 16%. Most patients (57%) stopped treatment because of disease progression. Neurologic toxicity was reported in 52% of patients. Seven different life-threatening toxicities were observed in patients while receiving treatment. CONCLUSIONS. The combination of cisplatin and amifostine in this study resulted in an overall response rate of 16%. Neither a tumor-protective effect nor reduced toxicity to normal tissues was observed with the addition of amifostine to cisplatin in this trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2517-2522
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2001


  • Amifostine
  • Breast neoplasm
  • Chemoprotection
  • Cisplatin
  • Nephrotoxicity
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Ototoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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