Publications by authors named "Hiroki Ikezawa"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers Predictive of Survival Benefit with Lenvatinib in Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma: From the Phase III REFLECT Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Purpose: In REFLECT, lenvatinib demonstrated an effect on overall survival (OS) by confirmation of noninferiority to sorafenib in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. This analysis assessed correlations between serum or tissue biomarkers and efficacy outcomes from REFLECT.

Experimental Design: Serum biomarkers (VEGF, ANG2, FGF19, FGF21, and FGF23) were measured by ELISA. Gene expression in tumor tissues was measured by the nCounter PanCancer Pathways Panel. Pharmacodynamic changes in serum biomarker levels from baseline, and associations of clinical outcomes with baseline biomarker levels, were evaluated.

Results: Four hundred and seven patients were included in the serum analysis set (lenvatinib = 279, sorafenib = 128); 58 patients were included in the gene-expression analysis set (lenvatinib = 34, sorafenib = 24). Both treatments were associated with increases in VEGF; only lenvatinib was associated with increases in FGF19 and FGF23 at all time points. Lenvatinib-treated responders had greater increases in FGF19 and FGF23 versus nonresponders at cycle 4, day 1 (FGF19: 55.2% vs. 18.3%, = 0.014; FGF23: 48.4% vs. 16.4%, = 0.0022, respectively). Higher baseline VEGF, ANG2, and FGF21 correlated with shorter OS in both treatment groups. OS was longer for lenvatinib than sorafenib [median, 10.9 vs. 6.8 months, respectively; HR, 0.53; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.33-0.85; interaction = 0.0397] with higher baseline FGF21. In tumor tissue biomarker analysis, VEGF/FGF-enriched groups showed improved OS with lenvatinib versus the intermediate VEGF/FGF group (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.16-0.91; = 0.0253).

Conclusions: Higher baseline levels of VEGF, FGF21, and ANG2 may be prognostic for shorter OS. Higher baseline FGF21 may be predictive for longer OS with lenvatinib compared with sorafenib, but this needs confirmation.
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June 2021

First-in-Human Phase 1 Study of MORAb-202, an Antibody-Drug Conjugate Comprising Farletuzumab Linked to Eribulin Mesylate, in Patients with Folate Receptor-α-Positive Advanced Solid Tumors.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jul 29;27(14):3905-3915. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of Experimental Therapeutics, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Purpose: MORAb-202, an antibody-drug conjugate containing farletuzumab and eribulin with a cathepsin-B cleavable linker, targets folate receptor α (FRα)-expressing tumor cells. The primary objective of this first-in-human study was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of MORAb-202 in patients with solid tumors.

Patients And Methods: Patients ≥20 years with adequate organ function and FRα-positive solid tumors who failed to respond to standard therapy were eligible. Patients received MORAb-202 intravenously at doses of 0.3 to 1.2 mg/kg once every three weeks. Endpoints included dose-limiting toxicities, safety, tumor responses, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03386942 (

Results: Between November 28, 2017 and June 4, 2019, 22 patients (median age, 58.0 years) with advanced solid tumors were enrolled. Treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 21 (95%) patients, with leukopenia and neutropenia in 10 (45%) patients each. One patient (0.9 mg/kg cohort) experienced two grade 3 dose-limiting toxicities: serum alanine aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transferase increases. Following review by an independent adjudication committee, grade 1/2 interstitial lung disease thought to be related to MORAb-202 was identified in five (23%) patients. Complete response, partial response, and stable disease were observed in one, nine, and eight patients, respectively. The normalized predose serum FRα tended to be positively correlated with the maximum tumor shrinkage ( = 0.2379; = 0.0291).

Conclusions: The MTD of MORAb-202 was not reached. MORAb-202 demonstrated promising antitumor activity in FRα-positive solid tumors and was generally well-tolerated at the tested doses. Further investigations are required to establish appropriate dosage and clinical utility of MORAb-202.
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July 2021

Indices of peripheral leukocytes predict longer overall survival in breast cancer patients on eribulin in Japan.

Breast Cancer 2021 Jul 7;28(4):945-955. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Advanced Cancer Translational Research Institute, Showa University, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: It was reported that eribulin regulates the tumor microenvironment, including the immune system, by inducing vascular remodeling. Lymphocyte counts are a critical index of immune response in patients. The non-Asian, global EMBRACE study has suggested that baseline absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) may be a predictor of the survival benefit of eribulin in breast cancer patients. We examined whether the baseline ALC is a potential predictor of overall survival (OS) in Japanese patients with HER2-negative advanced breast cancer treated with eribulin.

Methods: This was a post hoc analysis of data from a post-marketing observational study of eribulin in Japan. The OS by baseline ALC was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method, with the cut-off value of 1500/μL for ALC. The OS by baseline neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a general prognostic index in breast cancer patients, was also estimated, with the cut-off value of 3.

Results: The median OS was longer in patients with an ALC of ≥ 1500/μL than in those with an ALC of < 1500/μL (19.4 vs. 14.3 months; hazard ratio [HR]: 0.628; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.492, 0.801). Patients with an NLR of ≥ 3 showed shorter OS than those with an NLR of < 3 (13.2 vs. 18.8 months; HR: 1.552; 95% CI 1.254, 1.921), and NLR also separated OS in patients with an ALC of < 1500/μL.

Conclusions: Consistent with the findings of a previous study involving a non-Asian, Western population, our study suggested that baseline ALC may be a predictive factor for the survival benefit of eribulin in Japanese patients.
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July 2021

Pharmacokinetic study of lenvatinib in Chinese patients with solid tumors.

Future Oncol 2021 May 21;17(15):1855-1863. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Harbin Medical University Affiliated Cancer Hospital, Harbin, China.

To assess the pharmacokinetics of once-daily oral lenvatinib 24 mg in Chinese patients. Patients had any solid tumor (except hepatocellular carcinoma) that was resistant to standard antitumor therapies or for which no appropriate treatment was available. Twelve patients were enrolled. Maximum plasma concentrations of lenvatinib were observed at 2 and 4 h (median) after single and multiple doses (day 15), respectively. Steady state was achieved within 8 days. The geometric mean maximum observed concentration at steady state was 258 ng/ml (coefficient of variance: 49.2%); and the geometric mean area under the concentration-time curve from zero to 24 h at steady state was 3090 ng•h/ml (coefficient of variance: 44.7%). No accumulation was seen after 15 days. Lenvatinib pharmacokinetic data in Chinese patients are consistent with data in multinational trials, supporting usage of the 24-mg dose. NCT03009292 (
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May 2021

Phase 2 study of lenvatinib monotherapy as second-line treatment in unresectable biliary tract cancer: primary analysis results.

BMC Cancer 2020 Nov 16;20(1):1105. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

National Cancer Centre Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Biliary tract cancer (BTC) has a poor prognosis and lacks a standardized second-line therapy. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) 4, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) are highly expressed in BTC. Therefore, lenvatinib (a known inhibitor of VEGF receptors 1-3, FGFRs 1-4, and PDGFR-α) was evaluated for second-line treatment of BTC.

Methods: In this single-arm, multicenter, open-label, phase 2 study, patients with BTC received lenvatinib 24 mg orally once daily in 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR). Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), PFS rate at 12 weeks, disease control rate, clinical benefit rate, safety and pharmacokinetic profiles.

Results: Twenty-six Japanese patients were enrolled and treated; 3 had a confirmed partial response per investigator assessment and per independent imaging review (IIR); ORR was 11.5% (90% confidence interval [CI]: 3.2-27.2). Median PFS was 3.19 months (95% CI: 2.79-7.23) per investigator assessment and 1.64 months (95% CI: 1.41-3.19) per IIR. Median OS was 7.35 months (95% CI: 4.50-11.27). Grade ≥ 3 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) occurred in 21 patients (80.8%) and included hypertension (n = 10 [38.5%]), proteinuria (n = 3 [11.5%]), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (n = 3 [11.5%]), decreased appetite (n = 3 [11.5%]), and anemia (n = 3 [11.5%]). Two deaths occurred due to TEAEs between treatment initiation and 30 days after last dose, but neither were considered treatment related.

Conclusions: Lenvatinib demonstrated antitumor activity in BTC, with a tolerable safety profile, and should be further evaluated as potential second-line therapy for this difficult to treat population.

Trial Registration: NCT02579616 . Date of registration: October 19, 2015.
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November 2020

Correlative serum biomarker analyses in the phase 2 trial of lenvatinib-plus-everolimus in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Br J Cancer 2021 01 7;124(1):237-246. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Background: No biomarkers have been established to predict treatment efficacy in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In an exploratory retrospective analysis of a Phase 2 study, we constructed composite biomarker scores (CBSs) to predict progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic RCC randomised to receive lenvatinib-plus-everolimus.

Methods: Of 40 biomarkers tested, the 5 most strongly associated with PFS (HGF, MIG, IL-18BP, IL-18, ANG-2) or OS (TIMP-1, M-CSF, IL-18BP, ANG-2, VEGF) were used to make a 5-factor PFS-CBS or OS-CBS, respectively. A 2-factor CBS was generated with biomarkers common to PFS-CBS and OS-CBS. Patients were divided into groups accordingly (5-factor-CBS high: 3-5, CBS-low: 0-2; 2-factor-CBS high: 1-2, CBS-low: 0).

Results: PFS/OS with lenvatinib-plus-everolimus were significantly longer in the 5-factor CBS-high group versus the CBS-low group (P = 0.0022/P < 0.0001, respectively). In the CBS-high group, PFS/OS were significantly longer with lenvatinib-plus-everolimus versus everolimus (P < 0.001/P = 0.0079, respectively); PFS was also significantly longer with lenvatinib-plus-everolimus versus lenvatinib (P = 0.0046). The 5-factor-CBS had a predictive role in PFS and OS after multivariate analysis. Similar trends were observed with the 2-factor-CBS for PFS (i.e., lenvatinib-plus-everolimus versus everolimus).

Conclusions: The 5-factor CBS may identify patients with metastatic RCC who would benefit from lenvatinib-plus-everolimus versus everolimus; additional validation is required.

Clinical Trial Registration: The clinical trial registration number is NCT01136733.
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January 2021

Effectiveness and safety of eribulin in Japanese patients with HER2-negative, advanced breast cancer: a 2-year post-marketing observational study in a real-world setting.

Invest New Drugs 2020 10 16;38(5):1540-1549. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Advanced Cancer Translational Research Institute, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan.

Background Data on eribulin as the first- or second-line treatment in a clinical setting, especially the overall survival (OS) of patients, are scarce. Therefore, we assessed the effectiveness and safety of eribulin as the first-, second-, and third- or later-line treatments in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced breast cancer in Japan. Methods This multicenter, prospective, post-marketing, observational study enrolled patients from September 2014 to February 2016 in Japan and followed them for 2 years. Patients were categorized by eribulin use into the first-, second-, and third- or later-line treatment groups. Results Of 651 registered patients, 637 patients were included in the safety and effectiveness analysis. In all, first-, second-, and third or later-line treatment groups, median OS (95% confidence interval) were 15.6 (13.8-17.6), 22.8 (17.3-31.0), 16.3 (12.4-19.9), and 12.6 (11.2-15.1) months and time to treatment failure (TTF) (95% confidence interval) were 4.2 (3.7-4.4), 5.2 (3.7-5.9), 4.2 (3.7-5.1), and 3.8 (3.5-4.2) months, respectively. Prolonged TTF was associated with complications of diabetes and the development of peripheral neuropathy after eribulin treatment, according to multivariate Cox regression analysis. Grade ≥ 3 adverse drug reactions (ADRs) were reported in 61.7% of the patients. Neutropenia (49.5%) was the most common grade ≥ 3 ADR in all groups. Conclusions The effectiveness and safety results of eribulin as the first- or second-line treatment were favorable. Thus, these suggest eribulin may be a first-line treatment candidate for patients with HER2-negative advanced breast cancer in Japan.
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October 2020

Pharmacotherapy decision-making among patients with breast cancer in Japan: results of an online survey.

Breast Cancer 2019 Nov 8;26(6):799-807. Epub 2019 Jun 8.

Eisai Co., Ltd., 4-6-10 Koishikawa, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-8088, Japan.

Background: Although communication between patients with breast cancer and physicians is central to treatment decision-making for patients and the concept of shared decision-making has been increasingly advocated worldwide, little is known about decision-making and perceptions among the population in Japan. Therefore, this cross-sectional study aimed to clarify the status of pharmacotherapy decision-making among patients with breast cancer in Japan and assess factors associated with patient satisfaction with patient-physician communication.

Methods: Data for women previously treated with pharmacotherapy agents for breast cancer in Japan were collected in July 2017 using an online survey. Respondents were categorized by their decision-making role (active, shared, passive). Characteristics, decisional conflict level, and satisfaction with communication with their physician at the time of pharmacotherapy selection were stratified by decision-making roles. Stepwise multivariate logistic regression was performed to assess factors associated with satisfaction.

Results: Of 486 women that responded, nearly half played an active decision-making role (48.4%) and 26.0% played a shared role. The lowest decisional conflict and higher satisfaction were observed among those who played a shared role. The highest decisional conflict and lower satisfaction were observed in passive decision-makers. Shared decision-making, a longer consultation time with the physician, and multiple treatment options provided by the physician were significantly associated with satisfaction with communication with the physician.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that among patients with breast cancer, a shared role in treatment decision-making, longer consultation time at treatment selection, and having multiple treatment options are important for higher patient satisfaction with communication with their physician.
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November 2019

A Phase II study of the safety and efficacy of lenvatinib in patients with advanced thyroid cancer.

Future Oncol 2019 Mar 14;15(7):717-726. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Department of Head & Neck Medical Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Japan.

Aim: To investigate the safety and efficacy of lenvatinib in advanced thyroid cancer.

Patients/methods: In this Phase II study, 51 Japanese patients with radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (RR-DTC), medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) or anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) received once-daily lenvatinib 24 mg. The primary end point was safety.

Results: All patients experienced ≥1 adverse event (AE); only one patient experienced an AE leading to discontinuation. The most common any-grade AEs were hypertension, decreased appetite, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, fatigue and proteinuria. Response rates for RR-DTC: 68%; MTC: 22%; ATC: 24%. Median progression-free survival for RR-DTC: 25.8 months; MTC: 9.2 months; ATC: 7.4 months.

Conclusion: Lenvatinib demonstrated a manageable safety profile, proven antitumor activity in RR-DTC and promising efficacy in MTC and ATC.

Clinical Trial Registration: NCT01728623.
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March 2019

A phase I study of ontuxizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting endosialin, in Japanese patients with solid tumors.

Invest New Drugs 2019 10 9;37(5):1061-1074. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Eisai Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.

Background We conducted a first-in-Japanese, phase I study of ontuxizumab, a humanized, anti-endosialin monoclonal antibody, to confirm its tolerability, safety, and pharmacokinetics, and identify exploratory efficacy. Methods This was a multicenter, multiple-dose, open-label study in Japanese patients aged ≥20 years with solid tumors, including gastric cancer (GC) or advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), who had failed standard chemotherapy. The study comprised two parts: part 1 (dose-escalation; ontuxizumab 2-12 mg/kg weekly) and part 2 (cohort-expansion; 4 or 8 mg/kg weekly, or 12 mg/kg biweekly). Results Fifteen patients were treated in part 1, and 31 in part 2 (16 patients with GC and 15 with HCC). In part 1, the most common treatment-related, treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE) was fatigue (20%); no patients had grade ≥ 3 treatment-related TEAEs. In part 2, the most common treatment-related TEAEs were constipation, malaise, hiccups, and increased bilirubin; treatment-related grade 3 TEAEs occurred in two patients with HCC. In part 1, no patients achieved a partial response, and 6/15 (40%) had stable disease (SD). In part 2, 2/15 patients (13.3%) with GC and 8/15 (53.3%) with HCC had SD. Tumor shrinkage was observed in 5/15 HCC patients (33.3%). Conclusions Ontuxizumab, up to a dosage of 12 mg/kg weekly, was generally safe and well tolerated in this population, with no dose-limiting toxicities. The maximum tolerated dose was not reached; 8 mg/kg weekly or 12 mg/kg biweekly were the recommended dosages. We observed long-term disease stabilization in GC and extraskeletal chondrosarcoma, and tumor shrinkage in gastrointestinal stromal tumor and HCC. Trial registration: NCT01773434 ( ).
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October 2019

Lenvatinib in combination with everolimus in patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma: A phase 1 study.

Int J Urol 2018 11 20;25(11):922-928. Epub 2018 Aug 20.

Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Institute Hospital of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Objectives: To assess the tolerability, safety, pharmacokinetics and antitumor activities of lenvatinib, an oral inhibitor of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, in combination with everolimus, an inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin, in Japanese patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma after disease progression with vascular endothelial growth factor-targeted therapy.

Methods: Lenvatinib 18 mg and everolimus 5 mg once daily were administered on 28-day continuous cycles until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Adverse events were evaluated according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.03, and tumor response was assessed according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumor version 1.1. Pharmacokinetics sampling was carried out during the first cycle.

Results: Seven patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma received this combination treatment. Dose-limiting toxicity was not observed. The most commonly observed adverse events were thrombocytopenia and decreased appetite (100%), followed by hypertriglyceridaemia and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (86%). The most common grade 3 adverse event was lymphopenia (43%). No grade 4 or 5 adverse events occurred. The steady-state mean areas under the concentration-time curves of lenvatinib and everolimus were 3220 and 401 ng·h/mL, respectively. Five patients (71%) had partial response, and one (14%) had stable disease.

Conclusions: Lenvatinib 18 mg and everolimus 5 mg once daily are well tolerated and manageable, and their combined administration has no significant effect on either drug's pharmacokinetics. Overall, this combination therapy shows encouraging antitumor activity in Japanese patients with renal cell carcinoma.
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November 2018