A pilot surrogate end point biomarker trial of perillyl alcohol in breast neoplasia

Vered Stearns, Andrew Coop, Baljit Singh, Ann Gallagher, Hideko Yamauchi, Ronald Lieberman, Marie Pennanen, Bruce Trock, Daniel F. Hayes, Matthew J. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Efficient strategies to screen promising agents in early phase development are essential for rapid progress in breast cancer chemoprevention. We report our experience with the natural compound perillyl alcohol (POH) administered in a short-term surrogate end point biomarker (SEB) protocol, using the "window" between diagnostic and definitive surgery. Experimental Design: Eligible patients included those with a diagnosis of atypical ductal hyperplasia, ductal carcinoma in situ, lobular carcinoma in situ, or invasive carcinoma (<3 cm in size) that required further surgery. Thirty-seven of 267 women screened were enrolled in the study (14%). Five women received single-dose POH (1.5 g/m2) 2 days before surgery, 16 received escalating doses of POH (1.2 g/m2 to 4.8 g/m2/day) for 2 days before surgery, and 16 served as untreated controls. Exploratory SEB analysis [estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, proliferation, apoptosis, M6P/insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-IR, IGF1, IGF2 and transforming growth factor β] was conducted before and after POH. Results: Only a small portion of the population screened entered the study. Reasons for nonparticipation included protocol ineligibility, conflict of taming of surgery, miscellaneous logistical reasons, or patient's choice. POH administration was well tolerated and did not interfere with surgical management. The power to observe changes in candidate SEB was diminished by a 44% incidence of cases in which the index lesion was not present in the definitive surgical specimen. Conclusions: Preoperative POH exposure was safe and suitable for a more definitive phase II SEB study. Further investigations must overcome logistical obstacles to accrual, and they must focus on approaches to maximize tissue collection and to incorporate genomic analysis of target lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7583-7591
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 15 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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