A Phase II study of bosentan, a dual endothelin receptor antagonist, as monotherapy in patients with stage IV metastatic melanoma

Richard Kefford*, Jane Mc Neil Beith, Guy Arthur Van Hazel, Michael Millward, James Marshall Trotter, David Keith Wyld, Rada Kusic, Revati Shreeniwas, Adele Morganti, Andrea Ballmer, Eleonor Segal, Oliver Nayler, Martine Clozel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


There is no effective systemic therapy for disseminated metastatic melanoma. Data suggest that endothelin may play a role in pathophysiology of melanoma and that the dual endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan may have anti-tumor activity. This multicenter, open-label, single-arm, prospective, proof-of-concept study assessed the effects of bosentan monotherapy (500 mg oral tablets, bid) on tumor response in patients with stage IV metastatic melanoma. Patients were treated until disease progression, death or serious adverse event leading to premature study drug discontinuation. Tumor response was assessed at 6-weekly intervals using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). Among the 35 patients included in this study with stage IV metastatic melanoma, 21 (60%) were stage M1C, 10 (29%) stage M1B and 4 (11%) stage M1A (American Joint Committee on Cancer [AJCC] classification). Nine patients (26%) had received prior therapy for stage IV melanoma. Disease stabilization was observed in 6 of the 32 patients analyzed per protocol at week 6 with confirmatory evaluation at week 12, 5 of whom were still stable at ≥24 weeks. Of the 6 patients with disease stabilization, 2 were stage M1A, 1 was stage M1B and the remaining 3 were stage M1C. Partial or complete response was not observed. Progressive disease was observed in 17 (49%) patients at week 12 and in 25 (71%) patients at the end of the study (data base closure). The most frequent adverse events were typical for the underlying disease or known to be associated with bosentan: headache (43%), fatigue (34%), nausea (31%), back pain (23%) and abnormal hepatic function (23%). Bosentan might have benefit in disease stabilization in certain patients with metastatic melanoma and deserves further investigation in combination with other anticancer drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bosentan
  • Endothelin receptor
  • Metastatic melanoma

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