Ranpirnase – an antitumour ribonuclease: its potential role in malignant mesothelioma

Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy. April 2006, Vol. 6, No. 4, Pages 391-399. [Link]

Nick Pavlakis†1 & Nicholas J Vogelzang2

1Royal North Shore Hospital, Department of Medical Oncology, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia. pavlakis@med.usyd.edu.au

2Nevada Cancer Institute, 10000 W. Charleson Blvd, Suite 260, Las Vegas, NV 89135, USA. nvogelza@nvcancer.org

† Author for correspondence


Ranpirnase (Onconase®) is a novel cytotoxic ribonuclease. In clinical development as a single agent in patients with malignant mesothelioma (MM), at 480 μg/m2 intravenously weekly, analysis of survival indicated prolonged periods of stable disease in Phase II trials and a potential survival benefit, compared with doxorubicin, in a small unpublished Phase III trial. In all clinical studies it has generally demonstrated a favourable safety profile except for easily controlled allergic reactions and dose modifications for renal impairment. Standard first-line treatment for MM has recently been established with an antifolate and cisplatin. At present, a Phase III trial of doxorubicin with or without ranpirnase is nearing completion in MM patients without prior chemotherapy or one prior chemotherapy regimen.