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Phase I study of liposomal irinotecan in patients with metastatic breast cancer: findings from the expansion phase.



Metastatic breast cancer (mBC) remains incurable and is associated with low survival rates. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of liposomal irinotecan in heavily pretreated patients with mBC, with or without active brain metastases (BM).


Following the dose escalation phase and determination of recommended phase 2 dose, the expansion phase of this phase I, open-label, non-randomized study, assigned adult women to cohorts based on mBC subtype: cohort 1, hormone receptor +/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-; cohort 2, triple-negative breast cancer; or cohort 3, any mBC subtype with active BM. Patients received liposomal irinotecan 50 or 70 mg/m2 free base every 2 weeks. Here, we report secondary outcomes including best overall response (BOR), objective response rate (ORR), and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs).


For non-central nervous system (non-CNS) disease across all cohorts (intent-to-treat population, N = 29), the ORR was 34.5% (95% confidence interval: 17.94-54.33), with a BOR of partial response in 10 patients (34.5%), stable disease in five (17.2%), progressive disease in 10 (34.5%); four patients were unevaluable (13.8%). The ORR for the CNS cohort was 30.0% (95% confidence interval: 6.67-65.25) using modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. Common grade 3 or higher TEAEs were diarrhea (27.6%), nausea (17.2%), fatigue (13.8%), asthenia (10.3%), and hypokalemia (10.3%). Serious treatment-related TEAEs were reported in six patients (20.7%). No treatment-related TEAEs resulted in death.


Liposomal irinotecan monotherapy demonstrated antitumor activity in heavily pretreated patients with mBC, with or without BM. The observed safety profile was consistent with that in previous studies.

Clinical trial registration

Trial registration ID NCT01770353.

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