CM101 is a bacterial polysaccharide that induces neovascular inflammation in malignant tumors. Fifteen patients with refractory malignancies received CM101 i.v. by a 15-min infusion every other day, three times in 1 week, at doses ranging from 1 unit (7.5 microgram)/kg to 5 units/kg. Serum was analyzed for anti-CM101 IgG and IgM weekly. Plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 8, interleukin 10, MIP-1alpha, and soluble E-selectin, were analyzed from -15 min to 12 h during each treatment. Dose-limiting toxicities, including grade IV dyspnea and arrhythmia, were encountered at the 5-unit/kg level. Toxicities occurred primarily within the first 12 h after therapy and included mild-to-moderate fever and chills, nausea, cough, headache, facial flushing, dyspnea, myalgias, and acute tumor-related pain. No patient developed detectable antibodies to CM101. All patients experienced marked time- and dose-dependent elevations in all cytokines studied. Three patients experienced tumor shrinkage. The results show that CM101 can be safely administered at doses that produce evidence for severe, and possibly tumor-specific, inflammation. Further study is necessary to better characterize the mechanism of action and determine the optimal dose and schedule of this new agent.

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