A phase II study of Didemnin B (NSC 325319) in advanced malignant melanoma: An eastern cooperative oncology group study (PB687)

Howard Hochster, Ruth Oratz, David S. Ettinger, Ernest Borden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: Didemnin B is a novel marine natural product cyclic depsipeptide containing unusual amino acid moieties. This agent demonstrates promising preclinical antitumor activity, including activity against B16 melanoma and against melanoma isolates in the human tumor stem cell assay. Methods: We conducted a phase II study of Didemnin B, given in Cremophor, at a starting dose of 4.2 mg/m2/IV q 28 days. Patients with measurable metastatic or advanced malignant melanoma were eligible. All patients were previously untreated with chemotherapy and had performance status 0 or 1. Doses were escalated to 4.9 and 5.6 mg/m2 in cycles 2 and 3, respectively. Results: Nineteen patients were entered and treated with a median of one cycle per patient. Eight of these patients went off study for toxicity including 7 with anaphylactoid reactions in the first or second cycle. One patient went off study after 3 cycles with severe myopathy, a newly described toxicity. Two were not evaluable for response and five were considered stable, including one patient with a transient PR of soft tissue disease in the first cycle. Another patient had stable disease for twelve cycles before progressing and one went off study electively after 3 cycles, for a total of 7 patients with stable disease. One patient with a measurable partial remission (PR) and went off study after three cycles due to severe myopathy, a then newly-described toxicity. No hematologic toxicity was seen. Nausea and vomiting were controlled with anti-emetics. Conclusions: This study was indeterminate with respect to the activity of Didemnin B in melanoma. Signs of activity were seen, particularly in soft tissue masses, though a large number of patients could not be evaluated fully for activity due to the occurrence of anaphylactoid reactions. This study does not preclude a clinically important level of activity for Didemnin B.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998


  • Didemnin B
  • Malignant melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'A phase II study of Didemnin B (NSC 325319) in advanced malignant melanoma: An eastern cooperative oncology group study (PB687)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this