DCA and CancerDCA as a Cancer Treatment - Sodium Dichloroacetate

Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 5, 641-647, Copyright © 1987 by American Society of Clinical Oncology

Verapamil and adriamycin in the treatment of drug-resistant ovarian cancer patients

RF Ozols, RE Cunnion, RW Klecker Jr, TC Hamilton, Y Ostchega, JE Parrillo and RC Young

Eight patients with refractory ovarian cancer were treated on a pilot protocol of verapamil plus Adriamycin (Adria Laboratories, Columbus, OH). This trial was based on our previous laboratory studies which demonstrated that Adriamycin resistance in human ovarian cancer cell lines could be partially reversed by exposure of the cells to high concentrations of verapamil (3,000 ng/mL). Patients were treated in an intensive care unit with continuous cardiovascular monitoring. The dose of verapamil was escalated in each patient until hypotension or heart block developed, and this dose was maintained for 72 hours. Adriamycin (50 mg/m2) was infused over 24 hours during the second day of the verapamil infusion and verapamil alone was administered on the third day in an effort to block efflux from drug-resistant cells. This intensive approach led to a median plasma verapamil level of 1,273 ng/mL (range, 720 to 2,767). However, the high infusion rates of verapamil (9 micrograms/kg/min) required to achieve these plasma levels produced an unacceptable degree of cardiac toxicity. Two patients developed transient atropine-responsive complete heart block and four patients developed transient congestive heart failure with increases in pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. There was no evidence that the noncardiac toxicities of Adriamycin were enhanced by verapamil. There were no objective responses to therapy. Future studies should use less cardiotoxic calcium channel blockers that can be safely administered to produce the plasma levels required for in vitro sensitization of drug resistant cells