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Phase 2a Desipramine in Small Cell Lung Cancer and Other High-Grade Neuroendocrine Tumors

This study has been terminated.
(Lack of efficacy)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Joel Neal, Stanford University Identifier:
First received: October 29, 2012
Last updated: March 2, 2017
Last verified: March 2017
Intrapatient dose escalation study of desipramine in subjects with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and other high-grade neuroendocrine tumors.

Condition Intervention Phase
Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)
Neuroendocrine Tumors
Drug: Desipramine HCL
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: No masking
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase 2a Intrapatient Dose Escalation Study of Desipramine in Small Cell Lung Cancer and Other High-Grade Neuroendocrine Tumors

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Stanford University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Overall Response Rate (ORR) [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
    Overall response rate (ORR) was assessed as the number of patients who achieve either a partial (PR) or complete response (CR) measured by CT scans and Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST 1.1) criteria, divided by the total number of patients treated on the study. CR: Disappearance of all target lesions, all non-target lesions, and no new lesion. PR: At least a 30% decrease in the sum of diameters of target lesions, no progression in non-target lesion, and no new lesion.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Desipramine Maximum Dose [ Time Frame: Up to 6 weeks ]
    Assessed as the median per patient maximum dose (MD) using intra-patient dose escalation, and reported as the highest dose of desipramine administered continuously for 1 week or greater.

  • Median Serum Desipramine Levels During Treatment [ Time Frame: Up to 6 weeks ]

    Median serum desipramine levels during treatment is reported as the median of the maximum steady state serum concentration observed in all patients.

    Therapeutic concentration of desipramine is 100 to 300 ng/mL, and toxic concentration is > 300 ng/mL.

  • Progression-free Survival (PFS), Median [ Time Frame: Up to 5 years from enrollment to radiographic progression or drug discontinuation ]
    Median PFS was defined as the time from randomization to disease progression (or death if the patient died before progression) calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

  • Median Overall Survival (OS) [ Time Frame: From start of enrollment until death, no limit ]
    Median overall survival was defined as time from enrollment to death from any cause calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Enrollment: 6
Study Start Date: October 2012
Study Completion Date: May 2015
Primary Completion Date: May 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Desipramine HCl
Desipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA).
Drug: Desipramine HCL
Desipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). All patients will start off with a 25 mg dose by mouth nightly (QHS), increasing weekly for 6 weeks. The target dose level at 6 weeks is 450 mg (maximum dosage) or the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) for each subject.
Other Names:
  • Norpramin
  • Pertofrane
  • Desmethylimipramine

Detailed Description:

Participants will start desipramine by mouth nightly (QHS) for 6 weeks, with weekly dose escalation. Starting dose will be 25 to 75 mg. The desipramine dose will be escalated until the maximum dose of 450 mg is reached or a maximum safe dose per subject is established.

Dose level may be adjusted (decreased) based on cardiac or general adverse effects. desipramine level will be tapered if the subject experience disease progression, unless physician judges immediate suspension is in the subjects best interest.

Assessments will be conducted every 28 days, and will include ECGs, physicians and blood samples.

One partial and/or complete response will be sufficient to consider a larger clinical trial.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Metastatic small-cell lung cancer
  • Metastatic high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma of any organ system (high-grade defined by Ki-67 ≥ 20% and/or ≥ 20 mitoses/10 (HPF).
  • Received at least one line of prior chemotherapy treatment for metastatic disease.
  • Daily chemotherapy must be completed ≥ 2 weeks prior to registration
  • Weekly chemotherapy must be completed ≥ 2 weeks prior to registration
  • Chemotherapy every 2 weeks must be completed ≥ 3 weeks prior to registration
  • Chemotherapy every 3 weeks must be completed ≥ 4 weeks prior to registration
  • ECOG Performance Status 0 to 2
  • Measurable disease by RECIST 1.1 criteria
  • Age at least 18 years
  • Estimated life expectancy at least 3 months
  • Absolute neutrophil count ≥ 1,500/ mm³
  • Platelets ≥ 100,000/mm³
  • Hemoglobin ≥ 9 g/dL
  • Total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 mg/dL, OR ≤ 2 X ULN if tumor involves the liver
  • ALT(SGPT) ≤ 3 X ULN
  • Creatinine ≤ 1.5 X ULN
  • Creatinine clearance ≥ 45 mL/min/1.73m²) for patients with creatinine levels above institutional normal
  • QT interval corrected using Fridericia's method (QTcF) < 450 msec (males) or < 470 msec (females)
  • PR < 240 msec
  • QRS < 100 msec
  • Brain metastases must be asymptomatic and have been adequately treated with radiation finishing at least 1 week prior to initiation of study treatment.
  • Ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent document.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Clinically-significant ventricular arrhythmia including cardiac arrest
  • Myocardial infarction from coronary artery disease within 3 months of study enrollment
  • Implantable pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • NYHA Class III or greater congestive heart failure
  • Other clinically-significant cardiac disorders
  • Family history of long QT syndrome.
  • Concomitant or expected treatment with strong inhibitors of cytochrome p450 CYP2D6, specifically including Bupropion; Fluoxetine; or Paroxetine (must be discontinued at least 2 weeks or 5-half lives prior to the initiation of desipramine, whichever is shortest, except fluoxetine which requires at least a 5-week washout period).
  • Use of medications known to increase risk of torsades de pointes, including Amiodarone; Arsenic trioxide; Astemizole; Azithromycin; Bepridil; Chloroquine; Chlorpromazine; Cisapride; Citalopram; Clarithromycin; Disopyramide; Dofetilide; Domperidone; Droperidol; Erythromycin; Flecainide; Halofantrine; Haloperidol; Ibutilide; Levomethadyl; Mesoridazine; Methadone; Moxifloxacin; Pentamidine; Pimozide; Probucol; Procainamide; Quinidine; Sotalol; Sparfloxacin; Terfenadine; Thioridazine; Vandetanib
  • Other anti-depressant or anti-psychotic medications including selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs); other tricyclic, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs); serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs, typical or atypical anti-psychotic)
  • Metoclopramide (Reglan) because of increased risk of extrapyrimidal symptoms and neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Symptomatic orthostatic hypotension despite adequate volume resuscitation.
  • Medical history of narrow angle glaucoma
  • Bipolar disorder, ongoing or active within the last 5 years
  • Suicidal ideation, ongoing or active within the last 5 years
  • Suicide attempt, ongoing or active within the last 5 years
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Receiving any other investigational agents
  • Any other serious or unstable concomitant systemic disorder that in the opinion of the investigator is incompatible with the clinical study
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01719861

United States, California
Stanford University Cancer Institute
Stanford, California, United States, 94305
Sponsors and Collaborators
Joel Neal
Principal Investigator: Joel W Neal, MD, PhD Stanford University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Joel Neal, Assistant Professor, Stanford University Identifier: NCT01719861     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IRB-25491
VAR0087 ( Other Identifier: OnCore )
Study First Received: October 29, 2012
Results First Received: January 12, 2017
Last Updated: March 2, 2017
Individual Participant Data  
Plan to Share IPD: No

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Neoplasms
Small Cell Lung Carcinoma
Neuroendocrine Tumors
Carcinoid Tumor
Respiratory Tract Neoplasms
Thoracic Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Carcinoma, Bronchogenic
Bronchial Neoplasms
Neuroectodermal Tumors
Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents processed this record on April 28, 2017