Phase I study of combined indomethacin and platinum-based chemotherapy to reduce platinum-induced fatty acids.



Chemotherapy-resistance remains a major obstacle to effective anti-cancer treatment. We previously showed that platinum analogs cause the release of two fatty acids. These platinum-induced fatty acids (PIFAs) induced complete chemoresistance in mice, whereas co-administration of a COX-1 inhibitor, indomethacin, prevented PIFA release and significantly enhanced chemosensitivity. To assess the safety of combining indomethacin with platinum-based chemotherapy, and to explore its efficacy and associated PIFA levels, a multi-center phase I trial was conducted.


Thirteen patients were enrolled, of which ten were evaluable for safety analyses. In arm I, no dose-limiting toxicities were observed, and all indomethacin dose levels were well-tolerated. Partial responses were observed in three patients (30%). Indomethacin lowered plasma levels of 12-S-hydroxy-5,8,10-heptadecatrienoic acid (12-S-HHT), whereas 4,7,10,13-hexadecatetraenoic acid (16:4(n-3)) levels were not affected. Only one patient was included in arm II; renal toxicity led to closure of this cohort.


Combined indomethacin and CAPOX treatment is safe and reduces the concentrations of 12-S-HHT, which may be associated with improved chemosensitivity. The recommended phase II dose is 75 mg indomethacin TID given 8 days surrounding standard dosed CAPOX.


The study was comprised of two arms: oxaliplatin plus capecitabine (CAPOX, arm I) and cisplatin plus gemcitabine, capecitabine or 5FU (arm II) in patients for whom these regimens were indicated as standard care. Indomethacin was escalated from 25 to 75 mg TID, using a standard 3 × 3 design per arm, and was administered orally 8 days around chemo-infusion from cycle two onwards. PIFA levels were measured before and after treatment initiation, with and without indomethacin.

More about this publication

Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology
  • Volume 81
  • Issue nr. 5
  • Pages 911-921
  • Publication date 01-05-2018

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