Modulation of vinblastine resistance with cyclosporine: A phase I study

Brian L. Samuels*, Rosemarie Mick, Nicholas J. Vogelzang, Stephanie F. Williams, Richard L. Schilsky, Ahmad R. Safa, Sheila M. O'brien, Mark J. Ratain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Tumor cell resistance is a major cause of failure to cure advanced malignancies. Multidrug resistance is thought to be an important mechanism of such resistance. Our aims were to identify doses of cyclosporine that would achieve blood levels effective in modulating multidrug resistance to vinblastine and to evaluate the toxicities and maximum tolerated dose of cyclosporine when administered in conjunction with vinblastine. We conducted a phase I trial of vinblastine and escalating doses of cyclosporine. Cyclosporine was given by continuous intravenous infusion over 120 hours and vinblastine was administered by continuous infusion from hour 12 to hour 108. Sixty‐two patients entered the trial, of whom 60 were evaluable. Cyclosporine was escalated from 1 to 15.6 mg/kg/day. Vinblastine doses were reduced to 1.6 and then 1.2 mg/m2/day because of increasing vinblastine toxicity at higher cyclosporine doses. The maximum tolerated dose of cyclosporine at 1.2 mg/m2/day vinblastine was 12.5 mg/kg/day; at this dose level, mean blood cyclosporine level was 1.25 ± 0.41 µmol/L. Significant nephrotoxicity was observed at higher cyclosporine doses in two of four patients. Nephrotoxicity was not significant at doses at or lower than this maximum tolerated dose and was not cyclosporine dose dependent. Myelosuppression, neurotoxicity, and transient hyperbilirubinemia were observed and were cyclosporine dose dependent. Cyclosporine by continuous infusion may be safely given in high doses concurrently with continuous‐infusion vinblastine. Plasma levels of cyclosporine ≥ 1 µmol/L can be sustained during vinblastine administration. No sustained effect on T‐cell subsets was observed. Vinblastine toxicity is enhanced by cyclosporine in a dose‐dependent fashion and correlates with cyclosporine‐induced hyperbilirubinemia. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (1993) 54, 421–429; doi:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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