Combination gefitinib and methotrexate compared with methotrexate alone to treat ectopic pregnancy

Monika M. Skubisz, Andrew W. Horne, Terrance G. Johns, Ulrika W. Nilsson, W. Colin Duncan, Euan M. Wallace, Hilary O D Critchley, Stephen Tong

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22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of combination gefitinib and methotrexate to treat ectopic pregnancy. METHODS: We performed a phase I, single-arm (nonrandomized), open-label study. Twelve women with ectopic pregnancies were administered methotrexate (50 mg/m2, intramuscular) and 250 mg oral gefitinib in a dose-escalation protocol: one dose (day 1) n53; three doses (days 1-3) n53; seven doses (days 1-7) n56. Efficacy was examined by comparing human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) decline and time to resolution with historic controls administered methotrexate only. RESULTS: Common side effects were transient acneiform rash in 67% (8/12) and diarrhea in 42% (5/12) of participants. There was no clinical or biochemical evidence of serious pulmonary, renal, hepatic, or hematologic toxicity. Of six participants with a pretreatment serum hCG level between 1,000 and 3,000 international units/L, hCG levels declined significantly faster than in the control group. Median serum hCG levels by day 7 after treatment were less than one fifth of levels observed among 71 historic controls treated with methotrexate alone (median [interquartile range] hCG in participants 261 [55-1,445] international units/L compared with controls 1,426 [940-2,573]; P5.008). Median time for the ectopic pregnancies to resolve with combination therapy was 34% shorter compared with methotrexate alone (21 days compared with 32 days; P5.018). CONCLUSION: Combination gefitinib and methotrexate has potential as a treatment for ectopic pregnancy but is commonly associated with minor side effects such as transient rash and diarrhea. The treatment requires validation of safety and efficacy in a larger trial. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, www.anzctr.org, AC'TRN12610000684022.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-751
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Volume122
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

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    Skubisz, M. M., Horne, A. W., Johns, T. G., Nilsson, U. W., Duncan, W. C., Wallace, E. M., Critchley, H. O. D., & Tong, S. (2013). Combination gefitinib and methotrexate compared with methotrexate alone to treat ectopic pregnancy. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 122(4), 745-751. https://doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182a14cfb