OBJECTIVES:Relapsed small cell lung cancer (SCLC) has limited treatment options. Anthracyclines and cyclophosphamide have shown synergy in many tumors. Amrubicin (AMR) and cyclophosphamide both have single-agent activity in SCLC. This phase I trial evaluated the combination of AMR and cyclophosphamide in refractory solid organ malignancies and in relapsed SCLC.MATERIALS AND METHODS:The primary endpoint was to determine maximum-tolerated dose and dose-limiting toxicities of the combination. Eligible patients were enrolled in sequential dose escalation cohorts in a standard 3+3 design. Treatment consisted of cyclophosphamide IV at 500 mg/m on day 1 with escalating doses of AMR IV on days 1 to 3 (25 to 40 mg/m with increments of 5 mg/m per cohort). Cycles were repeated every 21 days. Exploratory objectives analyzed the presence of NQO1 polymorphisms and topoisomerase IIA amplification and correlation with response.RESULTS:Thirty-six patients were enrolled, of whom 18 patients had SCLC (50%). Maximum-tolerated dose was determined to be dose level 2 (cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m, AMR 30 mg/m) due to grade 4 thrombocytopenia. The main grade 3 to 4 toxicities were hematologic. Efficacy results are available for 34 patients. Partial responses, stable disease, and progressive disease rates in the overall study population were 20.6% (n=7), 38.2% (n=13), and 41.2% (n=14), respectively. Partial response, stable disease, and progressive disease rates in the SCLC patients and 1 patient with extrathoracic small cell were 36.8% (n=7), 26.3% (n=5), and 36.8% (n=7), respectively. There was no correlation between topoisomerase IIA amplification or NQO1 polymorphisms and response.CONCLUSIONS:AMR and cyclophosphamide can be safely combined with little activity observed in heavily pretreated SCLC patients.