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BACKGROUND: Combined therapy of metronomic cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and high-dose celecoxib targeting angiogenesis was used in a phase II trial. METHODS: Patients with advanced cancer received oral cyclophosphamide 50 mg o.d., celecoxib 400 mg b.d. and methotrexate 2.5 mg b.d. for two consecutive days each week. Response was determined every 8 weeks; toxicity was evaluated according to CTC version 2.0. Plasma markers of inflammation, coagulation and angiogenesis were measured. RESULTS: Sixty-seven of 69 patients were evaluable for response. Twenty-three patients had stable disease (SD) after 8 weeks, but there were no objective responses to therapy. Median time to progression was 57 days. There was a low incidence of toxicities. Among plasma markers, levels of tissue factor were higher in the SD group of patients at baseline, and levels of both angiopoietin-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 increased in the progressive disease group only. There were no changes in other plasma markers. CONCLUSION: This metronomic approach has negligible activity in advanced cancer albeit with minimal toxicity. Analysis of plasma markers indicates minimal effects on endothelium in this trial. These data for this particular regimen do not support basic tenets of metronomic chemotherapy, such as the ability to overcome resistant tumours by targeting the endothelium.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1822 - 1827


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Angiopoietin-1, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Celecoxib, Cyclophosphamide, Female, Humans, Male, Matrix Metalloproteinase 9, Methotrexate, Middle Aged, Neoplasms, Pyrazoles, Sulfonamides