Muscle cramping in phase i clinical trials of tirapazamine (SR 4233) with and without radiation

Nancy Doherty, Steven L. Hancock, Stanley Kaye, C. Norman Coleman, Lawrence Shulman, Carol Marquez, Carol Mariscal, Roy Rampling, Suresh Senan, Reinhard V. Roemeling

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Purpose: Tirapazamine (SR 4233) is a benzotriazine di-N-oxide which acts as a hypoxic cytotoxic agent and as a radiation enhancer when given shortly before or after radiation. Three Phase I clinical trials were designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose, toxicities, pharmacokinetics, and effects on irradiated tumors and normal tissues. Methods and Materials: Tirapazamine 9 mg/m2 to 21 mg/m2 was given IV sol|1/2 to 1 h prior to irradiation on a multiple dose schedule of 10 consecutive doses. This was later revised to a three times-per-week schedule for 12 doses. In a second clinical trial, tirapazamine was given in a single dose of 18 mg/m2 to 293 mg/m2 IV after irradiation. In a third trial, tirapazamine was administered without irradiation in single doses of 36 mg/m2 to 250 mg/m2, with an option for retreatment. Results: Subjects reported muscle cramping of varying degrees of severity on all three dose schedules. One patient experienced Grade 3 cramping and treatment was discontinued. The most frequent site of cramping were the lower extremities. Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) values were elevated in three patients with associated muscle soreness in one patient. MB (cardiac) isoenzymes were elevated in one patient with no evidence of cardiac muscle damage, and returned to baseline at drug completion. No consistent abnormalities in clinical laboratory values were found. Stretching of the muscle was most effective in relieving the cramping. Conclusion: Muscle cramping has been the most frequently reported toxicity in Phase I studies of tirapazamine, though it does not appear to be dose limiting. Dose escalation on the three clinical trials continues. In vitro studies to investigate the cramping are ongoing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-382
Number of pages4
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 1994


  • Hypoxic cytotoxic agents
  • Muscle cramping
  • Radiation sensitizers
  • SR 4233
  • Tirapazamine

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