Liposomal Irinotecan Shows Promising Phase 1 Results in Heavily Treated Breast Cancer Patients

Liposomal Irinotecan Shows Promising Phase 1 Results in Heavily Treated Breast Cancer Patients
Treatment with a liposomal formulation of irinotecan — meaning the chemotherapy is wrapped up in tiny fatty spheres —was well-tolerated and partially reduced the tumor burden in 35% of heavily pretreated breast cancer patients in a Phase 1 clinical trial, including those with brain metastasis. Results were presented in the poster, “Phase I expansion study of irinotecan liposome injection (nal-IRI) in patients with metastatic breast cancer (mBC),” at the recent American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019 in Atlanta. Irinotecan is an anti-cancer treatment that induces cancer cell death by causing breaks in DNA strands. The treatment is used primarily for colorectal and lung cancers, but has shown limited therapeutic activity in preclinical models of breast cancer. Irinotecan liposome injection (Nal-IRI) is a new formulation of irinotecan where the therapy is contained inside fatty spheres called liposomes. This formulation — sold as Onivyde by Ipsen for pancreatic cancer — shields irinotecan from rapid clearance and metabolism and improves the delivery of the active metabolite into the tumor. In preclinical breast cancer studies, liposomal ironotecan showed anti-tumor activity at much lower doses than free irinotecan. As a result, Ipsen designed a Phase 1 trial (NCT01770353)
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