Chemotherapy With Cordycepin Plus Pentostatin in Treating Patients With Refractory Acute Lymphocytic or Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia


RATIONALE: Drugs used in chemotherapy use different ways to stop tumor cells from dividing so they stop growing or die. Combining more than one drug may kill more tumor cells. PURPOSE: Phase I trial to study the effectiveness of chemotherapy consisting of cordycepin plus pentostatin in treating patients with refractory acute lymphocytic or chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Full Title of Study: “A Phase I Study of Cordycepin (NSC 63984) Plus 2′-Deoxycoformycin (NSC 218321) in Patients With Refractory TdT-Positive Leukemia”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: March 2001

Detailed Description

OBJECTIVES: I. Evaluate the safety, maximum tolerated dose, adverse effects, and toxicities of cordycepin, given 1 hour following a fixed dose of the adenosine deaminase inhibitor pentostatin, in patients with refractory TdT positive leukemia. II. Determine the single and multiple dose pharmacokinetics of cordycepin given 1 hour following a fixed dose of pentostatin. III. Characterize selected whole blood and blast cell metabolic parameters serially in relation to cordycepin/pentostatin administration. IV. Measure and quantify any clinical responses in refractory TdT positive leukemia patients following cordycepin/pentostatin administration. OUTLINE: This is a dose escalation study. Each treatment course is 28 days in length. On days 1-3 pentostatin is administered over 5 minutes by IV bolus and followed 1 hour later by a 1 hour infusion of cordycepin IV. An escalating dose of pentostatin is given with a fixed dose of cordycepin until the desired level of adenosine deaminase inhibition is observed. After this is determined, a dose escalation schedule for cordycepin is initiated to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) when given in combination with pentostatin. The MTD is determined by the number of patients who exhibit dose limiting toxicity and the severity of the toxicity. PROJECTED ACCRUAL: Approximately 30 patients will be accrued.


  • Drug: Cordycepin
    • Dose escalation study using the following doses: 6mg/m2, 12 mg/m2, 24mg/m2, 48mg/m2
  • Drug: Deoxycoformycin
    • Dose escalation using the Fibonacci dose escalation sequence starting dose 2mg/m2, escalating to 3mg/m3 intravenous

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: deoxycoformycin and cordycepin
    • Dose escalation for deoxycoformycin and cordycepin

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Maximum tolerated dose
    • Time Frame: 28 days
    • Dose limiting toxicities will be assessed within the first 28 days of study drug

Participating in This Clinical Trial

DISEASE CHARACTERISTICS: TdT positive acute lymphocytic leukemia or blastic chronic myelogenous leukemia Failed at least one standard treatment PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS: Age: 18 and over Performance status: Karnofsky greater than 70% Life expectancy: At least 3 months Hematopoietic: Not specified Hepatic: Bilirubin no greater than 2.0 mg/dL Transaminases no greater than 2.5 times normal Renal: Creatinine no greater than 1.5 mg/dL Creatinine clearance greater than 60 mL/min Cardiovascular: Ejection fraction greater than 40% Other: Not pregnant or nursing No serious concurrent illness PRIOR CONCURRENT THERAPY: Biologic therapy: Not specified Chemotherapy: At least 3 weeks since chemotherapy No concurrent chemotherapy Endocrine therapy: Not specified Radiotherapy: At least 3 weeks since radiation therapy Surgery: Not specified

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Boston Medical Center
  • Collaborator
    • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Timothy J. Ernst, MD, Study Chair, Boston Medical Center

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