PURPOSE: OPB-31121 is an oral STAT3 inhibitor with a good preclinical antitumor activity. This phase I dose-escalation study of OPB-31121 was conducted to determine maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary antitumor efficacy in patients with advanced solid tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients received OPB-31121 once daily for 28 days of each cycle followed by 2 weeks rest. A standard 3+3 design was used for dose-escalation. Safety and response were evaluated by the National Cancer Institute-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI-CTCAE) ver. 3.0 and Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumor (RECIST) ver. 1.0, respectively. RESULTS: Twenty-five patients were treated with OPB-31121 at five dose levels: 100 mg (n=4), 200 mg (n=3), 400 mg (n=3), 600 mg (n=7), and 800 mg (n=8). Seven patients discontinued treatment during cycle 1 for various reasons other than study drug-related adverse events. Among 18 patients who were evaluable for dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), three DLTs were observed: one DLT (grade 3 vomiting) at 600 mg and two DLTs (grade 3 vomiting, grade 3 diarrhea) at 800 mg. The MTD was determined as 800 mg/day. Common adverse events were gastrointestinal adverse event including nausea (84%), vomiting (80%), and diarrhea (72%). Pharmacokinetics did not demonstrate dose-proportionality of OPB-31121. Eight patients had stable disease and 10 patients had disease progression. Two patients (1 colon cancer, 1 rectal cancer) showed tumor shrinkage. One gastric cancer patient continued treatment up to cycle 13 before disease progression. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates feasibility of STAT3 inhibition in patients with advanced solid tumor. OPB-31121, at the MTD of 800 mg/day, was safe and relatively well tolerated, and has a preliminary antitumor activity.