Boston, Massachusetts 02114

  • Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors


RATIONALE: Penicillamine may stop the growth of glioblastomas by stopping blood flow to the tumor. A diet low in copper may interfere with the growth of brain tumor cells. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to damage tumor cells. Combining these therapies may be effective in treating glioblastoma. PURPOSE: Phase II trial to study the effectiveness of penicillamine, a low copper diet, and radiation therapy in treating patients who have newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Study summary:

OBJECTIVES: I. Determine the effect of penicillamine and copper reduction on survival and time to progression in adults with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. II. Determine the effect of penicillamine on the reduction of serum copper in these patients. III. Determine whether penicillamine reduces the tumor volume, vascularity, invasion, and edema in these patients. OUTLINE: Patients receive oral penicillamine on the following schedule: Week 1: once daily Week 2: two times daily Week 3: three times daily Week 4: four times daily Week 5 to end of study: increased dose four times daily. Patients also receive oral pyridoxine daily and maintain a low copper diet (no greater than 0.5 mg/day). This regimen is continued for up to 2 years in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Radiotherapy is administered over 6 weeks, beginning on day 1 of penicillamine therapy. Patients are followed every month (with MRI every 2 months) until death. PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 40 patients will be accrued for this study.


DISEASE CHARACTERISTICS: Histologically proven supratentorial grade IV astrocytoma (glioblastoma multiforme) PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS: Age: 18 and over Performance status: Karnofsky 60-100% Life expectancy: At least 2 months Hematopoietic: WBC at least 3000/mm3 Absolute neutrophil count at least 1500/mm3 Platelet count at least 100,000/mm3 Hemoglobin at least 10.0 g/dL No serious blood dyscrasias Hepatic: Bilirubin no greater than 2.0 mg/dL AST and ALT no greater than 4 times upper limit of normal (ULN) Albumin at least 3.0 g/dL PT and PTT no greater than 1.5 times ULN No liver failure Renal: Creatinine no greater than 1.7 mg/dL OR BUN no greater than 40 mg/dL No renal failure Other: Not pregnant or nursing Fertile patients must use effective contraception No serious infection No concurrent serious medical illness No allergy to penicillin or history of serious reaction to penicillamine No prior malignancy within the past 5 years except curatively treated carcinoma in situ or basal cell skin cancer PRIOR CONCURRENT THERAPY: Biologic therapy: No prior immunotherapy for brain tumor No prior biologic therapy for brain tumor, including: Immunotoxins Immunoconjugates Antisense Peptide receptor antagonists Interferons Interleukins Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes Lymphokine activated killer cells Gene therapy No concurrent growth factors (e.g., filgrastim or epoetin alfa) Chemotherapy: No prior chemotherapy for brain tumor Endocrine therapy: Must be on stable corticosteroid regimen for at least 1 week (at least 5 days) No other prior hormonal therapy for brain tumor Radiotherapy: No prior radiotherapy for brain tumor Surgery: Recovered from prior surgery Other: No concurrent investigational agents No concurrent gold compounds (auronofin, gold sodium thiomalate) No concurrent herbal dietary supplements

Study is Available At:

Original ID:

NABTT-9704 CDR0000066872



Secondary ID:


Study Acronym:

Brief Title:

Penicillamine, Low Copper Diet, and Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Glioblastoma

Official Title:

Phase II Study of Penicillamine and Reduction of Copper for Angiosuppressive Therapy of Adults With Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Overall Status:


Study Phase:

Phase 2



Minimum Age:

18 Years

Maximum Age:


Quick Facts

Healthy Volunteers
Oversight Has DMC
Study Is FDA Regulated
Study Is Section 801
Has Expanded Access

Study Source:

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

Oversight Authority:

United States: Federal Government

Reasons Why Stopped:

Study Type:


Study Design:

Primary Purpose: Treatment

Number of Arms:


Number of Groups:


Total Enrollment:


Enrollment Type:


Overall Contact Information

Official Name:Steven Brem, MD
Study Chair
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute

Study Dates

Start Date:March 1999
Completion Date:July 2005
Completion Type:Actual
Primary Completion Date:June 2004
Primary Completion Type:Actual
Verification Date:May 2012
Last Changed Date:May 1, 2012
First Received Date:November 1, 1999

Study Outcomes

There are no available Study Outcomes

Study Interventions

Intervention Type:Drug
Intervention Type:Radiation
Name:radiation therapy

Study Arms

There are no available Study Arms

Study Agencies

Agency Class:Other
Agency Type:Lead Sponsor
Agency Name:Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Agency Class:NIH
Agency Type:Collaborator
Agency Name:National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Sample and Retention Information

There are no available Sample and Retention Information

Study References

Reference Type:Results Reference
Citation:Brem S, Grossman SA, Carson KA, New P, Phuphanich S, Alavi JB, Mikkelsen T, Fisher JD; The New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy CNS Consortium. Phase 2 trial of copper depletion and penicillamine as antiangiogenesis therapy of glioblastoma. Neuro-oncol. 2005 Jul;7(3):246-53.

Data Source:

Date Processed: April 03, 2020

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