Publications by authors named "Philippe Cassier"

111 Publications

Phase I study of ABBV-428, a mesothelin-CD40 bispecific, in patients with advanced solid tumors.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Feb;9(2)

Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

Background: CD40 agonist immunotherapy can potentially license antigen-presenting cells to promote antitumor T-cell activation and re-educate macrophages to destroy tumor stroma. Systemic administration of CD40 agonists has historically been associated with considerable toxicity, providing the rationale for development of tumor-targeted immunomodulators to improve clinical safety and efficacy. This phase I study assessed the safety, tolerability, preliminary antitumor activity, and preliminary biomarkers of ABBV-428, a first-in-class, mesothelin-targeted, bispecific antibody designed for tumor microenvironment-dependent CD40 activation with limited systemic toxicity.

Methods: ABBV-428 was administered intravenously every 2 weeks to patients with advanced solid tumors. An accelerated titration (starting at a 0.01 mg/kg dose) and a 3+3 dose escalation scheme were used, followed by recommended phase II dose cohort expansions in ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, tumor types associated with high mesothelin expression.

Results: Fifty-nine patients were treated at doses between 0.01 and 3.6 mg/kg. The maximum tolerated dose was not reached, and 3.6 mg/kg was selected as the recommended phase II dose. Seven patients (12%) reported infusion-related reactions. Treatment-related grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events were pericardial effusion, colitis, infusion-related reaction, and pleural effusion (n=1 each, 2%), with no cytokine release syndrome reported. The pharmacokinetic profile demonstrated roughly dose-proportional increases in exposure from 0.4 to 3.6 mg/kg. Best response was stable disease in 9/25 patients (36%) treated at the recommended phase II dose. CD40 receptor occupancy >90% was observed on peripheral B-cells starting from 0.8 mg/kg; however, no consistent changes from baseline in intratumoral CD8+ T-cells, programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1+) cells, or immune-related gene expression were detected post-ABBV-428 treatment (cycle 2, day 1). Mesothelin membrane staining showed greater correlation with progression-free survival in ovarian cancer and mesothelioma than in the broader dose escalation population.

Conclusions: ABBV-428 monotherapy exhibited dose-proportional pharmacokinetics and an acceptable safety profile, particularly for toxicities characteristic of CD40 agonism, illustrating that utilization of a tumor-targeted, bispecific antibody can improve the safety of CD40 agonism as a therapeutic approach. ABBV-428 monotherapy had minimal clinical activity in dose escalation and in a small expansion cohort of patients with advanced mesothelioma or ovarian cancer.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02955251.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-002015DOI Listing
February 2021

Avapritinib in unresectable or metastatic PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumours: Long-term efficacy and safety data from the NAVIGATOR phase I trial.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Jan 15;145:132-142. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital Essen, Sarcoma Center, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.

Background: PDGFRA D842V mutations occur in 5-10% of gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs), and previously approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are inactive against this mutation. Consequently, patients have a poor prognosis. We present an updated analysis of avapritinib efficacy and long-term safety in this patient population.

Methods: NAVIGATOR (NCT02508532), a two-part, open-label, dose-escalation/dose-expansion phase I study, enrolled adult patients with unresectable GISTs. Patients with PDGFRA D842V-mutant GIST were a prespecified subgroup within the overall safety population, which included patients who received ≥1 avapritinib dose. Primary end-points were overall response rate (ORR) and avapritinib safety profile. Secondary end-points were clinical benefit rate (CBR), duration of response (DOR) and progression-free survival (PFS). Overall survival (OS) was an exploratory end-point.

Results: Between 7 October 2015 and 9 March 2020, 250 patients enrolled in the safety population; 56 patients were included in the PDGFRA D842V population, 11 were TKI-naïve. At data cut-off, median follow-up was 27.5 months. Safety profile was comparable between the overall safety and PDGFRA D842V populations. In the PDGFRA D842V population, the most frequent adverse events were nausea (38 [68%] patients) and diarrhoea (37 [66%]), and cognitive effects occurred in 32 (57%) patients. The ORR was 91% (51/56 patients). The CBR was 98% (55/56 patients). The median DOR was 27.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 17.6-not reached [NR]); median PFS was 34.0 months (95% CI: 22.9-NR). Median OS was not reached.

Conclusion: Targeting PDGFRA D842V-mutant GIST with avapritinib resulted in an unprecedented, durable clinical benefit, with a manageable safety profile. Avapritinib should be considered as first-line therapy for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.12.008DOI Listing
January 2021

Long-term clinical activity, safety and patient-reported quality of life for emactuzumab-treated patients with diffuse-type tenosynovial giant-cell tumour.

Eur J Cancer 2020 12 5;141:162-170. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Institut Claudius Regaud, Département D'Oncologie Médicale, Toulouse, France.

Objectives: This study investigated the safety, clinical activity and patient-reported outcomes of patients with diffuse-type tenosynovial giant-cell tumour (dTGCT) of the soft tissue who were treated with emactuzumab, a humanised anti-colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) monoclonal antibody and were followed up for up to 2 years after the start of treatment.

Methods: In this open-label phase 1 study (ClinicalTrials.govNCT01494688), patients received intravenous (IV) emactuzumab from 900 to 2000 mg every two weeks in the dose-escalation phase and at the optimal biological dose of 1000 mg with different schedules in the dose-expansion phase. Adverse event (AE) rates and biomarker assessments from tumour biopsies were analysed. Quality of life was assessed using a standard questionnaire (EuroQol-5D-3L) and the WOMAC® 3.1 Osteoarthritis Index. Tumour responses were determined with magnetic resonance imaging.

Results: Altogether, 63 patients were enrolled into the study. The most frequently reported AEs were pruritus, asthenia and oedema. In 36 patients for whom biopsy tissue was available a substantial decrease of CSF1R-positive and CD68/CD163-positive macrophages was detected. The independently reviewed best overall objective response rate (ORR) (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1) was 71%. Responses were durable, and an ORR of 70% and 64% was determined after one or two years after enrolment into the study. Clinical activity was accompanied by an improvement in EuroQol-5D-3L and particularly the joint disorder-specific WOMAC score.

Conclusions: Systemic therapy of dTGCT patients with emactuzumab resulted in pronounced and durable responses associated with symptomatic improvement and a manageable safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.09.038DOI Listing
December 2020

Phase Ib study of anti-CSF-1R antibody emactuzumab in combination with CD40 agonist selicrelumab in advanced solid tumor patients.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 10;8(2)

Department of Medicine, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Background: This phase Ib study evaluated the safety, clinical activity, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics (PD) of emactuzumab (anti-colony stimulating factor 1 receptor monoclonal antibody (mAb)) in combination with selicrelumab (agonistic cluster of differentiation 40 mAb) in patients with advanced solid tumors.

Methods: Both emactuzumab and selicrelumab were administered intravenously every 3 weeks and doses were concomitantly escalated (emactuzumab: 500 to 1000 mg flat; selicrelumab: 2 to 16 mg flat). Dose escalation was conducted using the product of independent beta probabilities dose-escalation design. PD analyzes were performed on peripheral blood samples and tumor/skin biopsies at baseline and on treatment. Clinical activity was evaluated using investigator-based and Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors V.1.1-based tumor assessments.

Results: Three dose-limiting toxicities (all infusion-related reactions (IRRs)) were observed at 8, 12 and 16 mg of selicrelumab together with 1000 mg of emactuzumab. The maximum tolerated dose was not reached at the predefined top doses of emactuzumab (1000 mg) and selicrelumab (16 mg). The most common adverse events were IRRs (75.7%), fatigue (54.1%), facial edema (37.8%), and increase in aspartate aminotransferase and creatinine phosphokinase (35.1% both). PD analyzes demonstrated an increase of Ki67-activated CD8 T cells accompanied by a decrease of B cells and the reduction of CD14 CD16 monocytes in peripheral blood. The best objective clinical response was stable disease in 40.5% of patients.

Conclusion: Emactuzumab in combination with selicrelumab demonstrated a manageable safety profile and evidence of PD activity but did not translate into objective clinical responses.

Trialregistration Number: NCT02760797.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001153DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7590375PMC
October 2020

Therapeutic relevance of molecular screening program in patients with metastatic sarcoma: Analysis from the ProfiLER 01 trial.

Transl Oncol 2020 Dec 18;13(12):100870. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Medical Oncology, Léon Bérard Cancer Center, Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Background: Advanced sarcoma is a group of heterogeneous disease with poor prognosis and poor efficacy of medical treatment. They represent a promising group of tumors to assess molecular-based therapy (MBT) strategy.

Patients And Methods: Genomic profiles of patients with advanced sarcoma included in the ProfiLER program were established by NGS using a 69 genes panel and CGH array. A weekly molecular board reviewed genomic reports to select relevant genomic alterations and propose recommendations for MBT.

Results: A genomic profile was available for 158 of 164 patients. At least 1 relevant genomic alteration was reported for 106 patients (67%), with frequent multiple alterations (68%). In total, 289 relevant genomic alterations were identified in 143 different genes; 139 homozygous deletions, 86 gene amplifications and 64 somatic mutations. The most frequently impacted genes were TP53, Rb1, CDKN2A, CDK4, MDM2, and PTEN. MBT was recommended for 47 patients and initiated for 13 patients. One objective response was observed for an angiosarcoma treated with pazopanib for FLT4 amplification; 4 patients had a stable disease, including a long-lasting 33 months stabilization.

Conclusion: Genomic profiling for advanced sarcoma is feasible, even for bone sarcoma. A small proportion of patients are eventually treated with MBT, similar to other tumor types. We could not demonstrate this strategy to be beneficial to patients. Our data suggest that molecular profiling should not be used in routine practice but warrants further exploration in clinical trials, focusing on sarcoma with complex genomic, and adding transcriptomic analysis to the copy number and mutational analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2020.100870DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7509228PMC
December 2020

Autophagy as a therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer.

Br J Cancer 2021 Jan 15;124(2):333-344. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterised by early metastasis and resistance to anti-cancer therapy, leading to an overall poor prognosis. Despite continued research efforts, no targeted therapy has yet shown meaningful efficacy in PDAC; mutations in the oncogene KRAS and the tumour suppressor TP53, which are the most common genomic alterations in PDAC, have so far shown poor clinical actionability. Autophagy, a conserved process allowing cells to recycle altered or unused organelles and cellular components, has been shown to be upregulated in PDAC and is implicated in resistance to both cytotoxic chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Autophagy is thus regarded as a potential therapeutic target in PDAC and other cancers. Although the molecular mechanisms of autophagy activation in PDAC are only beginning to emerge, several groups have reported interesting results when combining inhibitors of the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway and inhibitors of autophagy in models of PDAC and other KRAS-driven cancers. In this article, we review the existing preclinical data regarding the role of autophagy in PDAC, as well as results of relevant clinical trials with agents that modulate autophagy in this cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01039-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7852577PMC
January 2021

Efficacy of Selpercatinib in Fusion-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2020 08;383(9):813-824

From Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College (A.D., E.R.) and New York University Langone Medical Center (V.V.), New York, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo (G.K.D.) - all in New York; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (G.R.O.) and Massachusetts General Hospital (J.G.), Boston; National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore (D.S.W.T.); the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China (H.H.F.L.); Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville (M.J.); University of California, San Francisco-Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco (C.E.M.), University of California, San Diego, Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla (L.B.), and City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte (K.L.R.) - all in California; University of Bern, Bern, and Cantonal Hospital of Lucerne, Lucerne - both in Switzerland (O.G.); Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif (B.B.), Hospital La Timone, Marseille (F.B.), and Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon (P.A.C.) - all in France; Severance Hospital, Yonsei University Health System (B.C.C.), and Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (K.P.), Seoul, and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam (Y.J.K.) - all in South Korea; Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel (N.P.); University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill (J. Weiss); National Cancer Center Hospital (Y.O.) and Cancer Institute Hospital of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research (M. Nishio), Tokyo, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Cancer Center, Fukuoka (T. Seto), Tottori University Hospital, Tottori (T. Sakamoto), Hyogo Cancer Center, Akashi (M.S.), Okayama University Hospital, Okayama (K.O.), and National Cancer Center Hospital East, Chiba (K.G.) - all in Japan; University of Chicago, Chicago (J.P.); the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus (M.H.S.), and Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland (N.A.P.); Istituto Nazionale Tumori-National Cancer Institute, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan (F.D.B.); Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Hospital Universitario Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona (E.G.); Center for Integrated Oncology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany (J. Wolf); Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (B.S.); Sarah Cannon Research Institute at HealthONE, Denver (G.F.); Loxo Oncology, Stamford, CT (K.E., M. Nguyen, B.N., E.Y.Z., L.Y., X.H., E.O., S.M.R.); and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (V.S.).

Background: fusions are oncogenic drivers in 1 to 2% of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). In patients with fusion-positive NSCLC, the efficacy and safety of selective RET inhibition are unknown.

Methods: We enrolled patients with advanced fusion-positive NSCLC who had previously received platinum-based chemotherapy and those who were previously untreated separately in a phase 1-2 trial of selpercatinib. The primary end point was an objective response (a complete or partial response) as determined by an independent review committee. Secondary end points included the duration of response, progression-free survival, and safety.

Results: In the first 105 consecutively enrolled patients with fusion-positive NSCLC who had previously received at least platinum-based chemotherapy, the percentage with an objective response was 64% (95% confidence interval [CI], 54 to 73). The median duration of response was 17.5 months (95% CI, 12.0 to could not be evaluated), and 63% of the responses were ongoing at a median follow-up of 12.1 months. Among 39 previously untreated patients, the percentage with an objective response was 85% (95% CI, 70 to 94), and 90% of the responses were ongoing at 6 months. Among 11 patients with measurable central nervous system metastasis at enrollment, the percentage with an objective intracranial response was 91% (95% CI, 59 to 100). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or higher were hypertension (in 14% of the patients), an increased alanine aminotransferase level (in 12%), an increased aspartate aminotransferase level (in 10%), hyponatremia (in 6%), and lymphopenia (in 6%). A total of 12 of 531 patients (2%) discontinued selpercatinib because of a drug-related adverse event.

Conclusions: Selpercatinib had durable efficacy, including intracranial activity, with mainly low-grade toxic effects in patients with fusion-positive NSCLC who had previously received platinum-based chemotherapy and those who were previously untreated. (Funded by Loxo Oncology and others; LIBRETTO-001 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03157128.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2005653DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7506467PMC
August 2020

A Phase 1 dose-escalation study to evaluate safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of AsiDNA, a first-in-class DNA repair inhibitor, administered intravenously in patients with advanced solid tumours.

Br J Cancer 2020 Nov 25;123(10):1481-1489. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Medical Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Background: AsiDNA, a first-in-class oligonucleotide-mimicking double-stranded DNA breaks, acts as a decoy agonist to DNA damage response in tumour cells. It also activates DNA-dependent protein kinase and poly (adenosine diphosphate [ADP]-ribose) polymerase enzymes that induce phosphorylation of H2AX and protein PARylation.

Methods: The aim of this Phase 1 study was to determine dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of AsiDNA administered daily for 3 days in the first week then weekly thereafter. Twenty-two patients with advanced solid tumours were enrolled in 5 dose levels: 200, 400, 600, 900, and 1300 mg, using a 3 + 3 design.

Results: The MTD was not reached. IV AsiDNA was safe. Two DLTs (grade 4 and grade 3 hepatic enzymes increased at 900 and 1300 mg), and two related SAE at 900 mg (grade 3 hypotension and grade 4 hepatic enzymes increased) were reported. AsiDNA PK increased proportionally with dose. A robust activation of DNA-PK by a significant posttreatment increase of γH2AX was evidenced in tumour biopsies.

Conclusion: The dose of 600 mg was identified as the optimal dose for further clinical development.

Clinical Trial Registration: Clinical trial registration (NCT number): NCT03579628.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01028-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7653034PMC
November 2020

Model Informed Dosing Regimen and Phase I Results of the Anti-PD-1 Antibody Budigalimab (ABBV-181).

Clin Transl Sci 2021 01 26;14(1):277-287. Epub 2020 Dec 26.

Next Oncology, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Budigalimab is a humanized, recombinant, Fc mutated IgG1 monoclonal antibody targeting programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) receptor, currently in phase I clinical trials. The safety, efficacy, pharmacokinetics (PKs), pharmacodynamics (PDs), and budigalimab dose selection from monotherapy dose escalation and multihistology expansion cohorts were evaluated in patients with previously treated advanced solid tumors who received budigalimab at 1, 3, or 10 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks (Q2W) in dose escalation, including Japanese patients that received 3 and 10 mg/kg Q2W. PK modeling and PK/PD assessments informed the dosing regimen in expansion phase using data from body-weight-based dosing in the escalation phase, based on which patients in the multihistology expansion cohort received flat doses of 250 mg Q2W or 500 mg every four weeks (Q4W). Immune-related adverse events (AEs) were reported in 11 of 59 patients (18.6%), of which 1 of 59 (1.7%) was considered grade ≥ 3 and the safety profile of budigalimab was consistent with other PD-1 targeting agents. No treatment-related grade 5 AEs were reported. Four responses per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1 were reported in the dose escalation cohort and none in the multihistology expansion cohort. PK of budigalimab was approximately dose proportional and sustained > 99% peripheral PD-1 receptor saturation was observed by 2 hours postdosing, across doses. PK/PD and safety profiles were comparable between Japanese and Western patients, and exposure-safety analyses did not indicate any trends. Observed PK and PD-1 receptor saturation were consistent with model predictions for flat doses and less frequent regimens, validating the early application of PK modeling and PK/PD assessments to inform the recommended dose and regimen, following dose escalation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cts.12855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7877859PMC
January 2021

Avapritinib in advanced PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumour (NAVIGATOR): a multicentre, open-label, phase 1 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 07;21(7):935-946

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Targeting of KIT and PDGFRA with imatinib revolutionised treatment in gastrointestinal stromal tumour; however, PDGFRA Asp842Val (D842V)-mutated gastrointestinal stromal tumour is highly resistant to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. We aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and antitumour activity of avapritinib, a novel KIT and PDGFRA inhibitor that potently inhibits PDGFRA D842V, in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumours, including patients with KIT and PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumours (NAVIGATOR).

Methods: NAVIGATOR is a two-part, open-label, dose-escalation and dose-expansion, phase 1 study done at 17 sites across nine countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, the UK, and the USA). Patients aged 18 years or older, with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2 or less, and with adequate end-organ function were eligible to participate. The dose-escalation part of the study included patients with unresectable gastrointestinal stromal tumours. The dose-expansion part of the study included patients with an unresectable PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumour regardless of previous therapy or gastrointestinal stromal tumour with other mutations that either progressed on imatinib and one or more tyrosine kinase inhibitor, or only received imatinib previously. On the basis of enrolment trends, ongoing review of study data, and evolving knowledge regarding the gastrointestinal stromal tumour treatment paradigm, it was decided by the sponsor's medical director together with the investigators that patients with PDGFRA D842V mutations would be analysed separately; the results from this group of patients is reported in this Article. Oral avapritinib was administered once daily in the dose-escalation part (starting dose of 30 mg, with increasing dose levels once daily in continuous 28-day cycles until the maximum tolerated dose or recommended phase 2 dose was determined; in the dose-expansion part, the starting dose was the maximum tolerated dose from the dose-escalation part). Primary endpoints were maximum tolerated dose, recommended phase 2 dose, and safety in the dose-escalation part, and overall response and safety in the dose-expansion part. Safety was assessed in all patients from the dose-escalation part and all patients with PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumour in the dose-expansion part, and activity was assessed in all patients with PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumour who received avapritinib and who had at least one target lesion and at least one post-baseline disease assessment by central radiology. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02508532.

Findings: Between Oct 26, 2015, and Nov 16, 2018 (data cutoff), 46 patients were enrolled in the dose-escalation part, including 20 patients with a PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumour, and 36 patients with a PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumour were enrolled in the dose-expansion part. At data cutoff (Nov 16, 2018), 38 (46%) of 82 patients in the safety population (median follow-up of 19·1 months [IQR 9·2-25·5]) and 37 (66%) of the 56 patients in the PDGFRA D842V population (median follow-up of 15·9 months [IQR 9·2-24·9]) remained on treatment. The maximum tolerated dose was 400 mg, and the recommended phase 2 dose was 300 mg. In the safety population (patients with PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumour from the dose-escalation and dose-expansion parts, all doses), treatment-related grade 3-4 events occurred in 47 (57%) of 82 patients, the most common being anaemia (14 [17%]); there were no treatment-related deaths. In the PDGFRA D842V-mutant population, 49 (88%; 95% CI 76-95) of 56 patients had an overall response, with five (9%) complete responses and 44 (79%) partial responses. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed at doses of 30-400 mg per day. At 600 mg, two patients had dose-limiting toxicities (grade 2 hypertension, dermatitis acneiform, and memory impairment in patient 1, and grade 2 hyperbilirubinaemia in patient 2).

Interpretation: Avapritinib has a manageable safety profile and has preliminary antitumour activity in patients with advanced PDGFRA D842V-mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

Funding: Blueprint Medicines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30269-2DOI Listing
July 2020

Tocilizumab for the treatment of paraneoplastic inflammatory syndrome associated with angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma.

ESMO Open 2020 06;5(3):e000756

Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Leon Berard, Lyon, France; Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2020-000756DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7299035PMC
June 2020

High mortality rate in cancer patients with symptoms of COVID-19 with or without detectable SARS-COV-2 on RT-PCR.

Eur J Cancer 2020 08 7;135:251-259. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

Centre Léon Bérard, 28 Rue Laënnec, 69373, Lyon Cedex 08, France; Université Claude Bernard Lyon I, France; Unicancer, Paris, France. Electronic address:

Background: Cancer patients presenting with COVID-19 have a high risk of death. In this work, predictive factors for survival in cancer patients with suspected SARS-COV-2 infection were investigated.

Methods: PRE-COVID-19 is a retrospective study of all 302 cancer patients presenting to this institute with a suspicion of COVID-19 from March 1st to April 25th 2020. Data were collected using a web-based tool within electronic patient record approved by the Institutional Review Board. Patient characteristics symptoms and survival were collected and compared in SARS-COV-2 real-time or reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR)-positive and RT-PCR-negative patients.

Results: Fifty-five of the 302 (18.2%) patients with suspected COVID-19 had detectable SARS-COV-2 with RT-PCR in nasopharyngeal samples. RT-PCR-positive patients were older, had more frequently haematological malignancies, respiratory symptoms and suspected COVID-19 pneumonia of computed tomography (CT) scan. However, respectively, 38% and 20% of SARS-COV-2 RT-PCR-negative patients presented similar respiratory symptoms and CT scan images. Thirty of the 302 (9.9%) patients died during the observation period, including 24 (80%) with advanced disease. At the median follow-up of 25 days after the first symptoms, the death rate in RT-PCR-positive and RT-PCR-negative patients were 21% and 10%, respectively. In both groups, independent risk factors for death were male gender, Karnofsky performance status <60, cancer in relapse and respiratory symptoms. Detection of SARS-COV-2 on RT-PCR was not associated with an increased death rate (p = 0.10). None of the treatment given in the previous month (including cytotoxics, PD1 Ab, anti-CD20, VEGFR2…) correlated with survival. The survival of RT-PCR-positive and -negative patients with respiratory symptoms and/or COVID-19 type pneumonia on CT scan was similar with a 18.4% and 19.7% death rate at day 25. Most (22/30, 73%) cancer patients dying during this period were RT-PCR negative.

Conclusion: The 30-day death rate of cancer patients with or without documented SARS-COV-2 infection is poor, but the majority of deaths occur in RT-PCR-negative patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.05.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275994PMC
August 2020

Phase I Study of Ramucirumab Plus Merestinib in Previously Treated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Safety, Preliminary Efficacy, and Pharmacokinetic Findings.

Oncologist 2020 11 17;25(11):e1628-e1639. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Lessons Learned: The combination of the antivascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 monoclonal antibody, ramucirumab, and the type II MET kinase inhibitor, merestinib, is tolerable. Preliminary efficacy data suggest that the combination may provide clinical benefit to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Further development of this combination would likely necessitate the identification of subsets of patients with mCRC where the clinical benefit is of clinical relevance.

Background: This study evaluated safety, preliminary efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of ramucirumab plus merestinib in patients with MCR previously treated with oxaliplatin and/or irinotecan.

Methods: Open-label phase Ia/b study comprising 3+3 dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) observation and expansion parts. Treatment was ramucirumab 8 mg/kg on days 1 and 15 and merestinib 80 mg once daily (QD; 28-day cycle). Primary objective was safety and tolerability. Secondary objectives were pharmacokinetics and preliminary antitumor activity. Exploratory objective was biomarker associations.

Results: Safety findings: DLT (proteinuria) of 7 phase Ia patients (the expansion part started at the initial recommended dose level); 16 patients (70%) with grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs); 10 patients (43%) with grade ≥3 treatment-related TEAEs. The most common grade ≥3 treatment-related TEAEs were fatigue (4 patients [17%]) and increased blood alkaline phosphatase, diarrhea, and hypertension (2 patients each [9%]). One patient discontinued treatment because of cholestatic hepatitis. Geometric mean trough concentrations at cycle 1, day 15, were ramucirumab, 24.8 μg/mL; merestinib, 130 ng/mL. No complete or partial response was seen; 12 patients (52%) achieved stable disease. Median progression-free survival was 3.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6-4.4). Median overall survival was 8.9 months (95% CI: 3.5-12.7). There were no associations between genetic alterations and efficacy.

Conclusion: Ramucirumab plus merestinib is tolerable and may have clinical benefit in biomarker-unselected, heavily pretreated patients with mCRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2020-0520DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7648328PMC
November 2020

Long term term follow-up of tyrosine kinase inhibitors treatments in inoperable or relapsing diffuse type tenosynovial giant cell tumors (dTGCT).

PLoS One 2020 20;15(5):e0233046. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of Medical Oncology, Léon Bérard Cancer Center, Lyon, France.

Rationale: CSF1R tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) and antibodies yield response rates and tumor control in patients with diffuse type tenosynovial giant cell tumors (dTGCT). The long term management of patients with dTGCT treated with TKI is however not known.

Patients And Methods: We conducted a retrospective single center study on the 39 patients with advanced and/or inoperable dTGCT referred to the Centre Leon Berard for a medical treatment. The clinical characteristics and treatments of patients who had received at least one line of CSF1R TKI or Ab was collected from the electronic patient records and analyzed, after this study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Centre Leon Berard. Statistics were conducted using SPSS 23.0.

Results: Thirty-nine patients received at least one line of TKI among the 101 patients with histologically confirmed dTGCT refered to this center. Imatinib, nilotinib, pexidartinib, emactuzumab were the most frequently used agents. First line treatment was given for a median duration of 7 months. With a median follow-up from the initiation of TKI of 30 months, the progression-free rate at 30 months is 56% for the 39 patients. 15 patients had recurrent disease after first line CSF1R inhibitor: 12 (80%) received a 2nd line treatment for a median duration of 6 months and a median time to progression (TTP) of 12 months. Six patients had afterwards a recurrent disease and 5 (83%) received a 3rd line treatment for a median duration of 5 months and a median TTP of 9 months. Progression-free rate at 30 months was observed in 3 of 12 (25%) after line 2 and 1 of 5 (20%) after line 3. None of the patients refered died with a median follow-up of 67 months.

Conclusions: CSF1R TKI or Ab provide prolonged tumor control and symptom relief for a majority of patients with inoperable or relapsing dTGCT, in first and subsequent lines. Multiple lines are required for close to 50% of patients with relapsing dTGCT.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0233046PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7239463PMC
July 2020

Generation of an Fsp1 (fibroblast-specific protein 1)-Flpo transgenic mouse strain.

Genesis 2020 05 19;58(5):e23359. Epub 2020 Mar 19.

INSERM U1052, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon, Lyon, France.

Recombination systems represent a major breakthrough in the field of genetic model engineering. The Flp recombinases (Flp, Flpe, and Flpo) bind and cleave DNA Frt sites. We created a transgenic mouse strain ([Fsp1-Flpo]) expressing the Flpo recombinase in fibroblasts. This strain was obtained by random insertion inside mouse zygotes after pronuclear injection. Flpo expression was placed under the control of the promoter of Fsp1 (fibroblast-specific protein 1) gene, whose expression starts after gastrulation at Day 8.5 in cells of mesenchymal origin. We verified the correct expression and function of the Flpo enzyme by several ex vivo and in vivo approaches. The [Fsp1-Flpo] strain represents a genuine tool to further target the recombination of transgenes with Frt sites specifically in cells of mesenchymal origin or with a fibroblastic phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dvg.23359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7317532PMC
May 2020

Generation of a conditional Flpo/FRT mouse model expressing constitutively active TGFβ in fibroblasts.

Sci Rep 2020 03 3;10(1):3880. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

INSERM U1052, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon, F-69000, Lyon, France.

Transforming growth factor (TGFβ) is a secreted factor, which accumulates in tissues during many physio- and pathological processes such as embryonic development, wound healing, fibrosis and cancer. In order to analyze the effects of increased microenvironmental TGFβ concentration in vivo, we developed a conditional transgenic mouse model (Flpo/Frt system) expressing bioactive TGFβ in fibroblasts, a cell population present in the microenvironment of almost all tissues. To achieve this, we created the genetically-engineered [Fsp1-Flpo; TGFβ] mouse model. The Fsp1-Flpo allele consists in the Flpo recombinase under the control of the Fsp1 (fibroblast-specific promoter 1) promoter. The TGFβ allele consists in a transgene encoding a constitutively active mutant form of TGFβ (TGFβ) under the control of a Frt-STOP-Frt (FSF) cassette. The TGFβ allele was created to generate this model, and functionally validated by in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo techniques. [Fsp1-Flpo; TGFβ] animals do not present any obvious phenotype despite the correct expression of TGFβ transgene in fibroblasts. This [Fsp1-Flpo; TGFβ] model is highly pertinent for future studies on the effect of increased microenvironmental bioactive TGFβ concentrations in mice bearing Cre-dependent genetic alterations in other compartments (epithelial or immune compartments for instance). These dual recombinase system (DRS) approaches will enable scientists to study uncoupled spatiotemporal regulation of different genetic alterations within the same mouse, thus better replicating the complexity of human diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60272-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7054254PMC
March 2020

Correction: Schwann cells support oncogenic potential of pancreatic cancer cells through TGFβ signaling.

Cell Death Dis 2020 Jan 23;11(1):57. Epub 2020 Jan 23.

Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INSERM 1052, CNRS 5286, Centre Léon Bérard, Centre de recherche en cancérologie de Lyon (CRCL), Lyon, 69373, France.

The original version of this article contained an error in the name of one of the co-authors (Kayvan Mohkam). This has been corrected in the PDF and HTML versions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-2262-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6978359PMC
January 2020

Schwann cells support oncogenic potential of pancreatic cancer cells through TGFβ signaling.

Cell Death Dis 2019 11 25;10(12):886. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INSERM 1052, CNRS 5286, Centre Léon Bérard, Centre de recherche en cancérologie de Lyon (CRCL), Lyon, 69373, France.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the solid tumors with the poorest prognosis. The stroma of this tumor is abundant and composed of extracellular matrix and stromal cells (including cancer-associated fibroblasts and immune cells). Nerve fibers invading this stroma represent a hallmark of PDAC, involved in neural remodeling, which participates in neuropathic pain, cancer cell dissemination and tumor relapse after surgery. Pancreatic cancer-associated neural remodeling is regulated through functional interplays mediated by physical and molecular interactions between cancer cells, nerve cells and surrounding Schwann cells, and other stromal cells. In the present study, we show that Schwann cells (glial cells supporting peripheral neurons) can enhance aggressiveness (migration, invasion, tumorigenicity) of pancreatic cancer cells in a transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-dependent manner. Indeed, we reveal that conditioned medium from Schwann cells contains high amounts of TGFβ able to activate the TGFβ-SMAD signaling pathway in cancer cells. We also observed in human PDAC samples that high levels of TGFβ signaling activation were positively correlated with perineural invasion. Secretome analyses by mass spectrometry of Schwann cells and pancreatic cancer cells cultured alone or in combination highlighted the central role of TGFβ in neuro-epithelial interactions, as illustrated by proteomic signatures related to cell adhesion and motility. Altogether, these results demonstrate that Schwann cells are a meaningful source of TGFβ in PDAC, which plays a crucial role in the acquisition of aggressive properties by pancreatic cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-019-2116-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6877617PMC
November 2019

Part I of GANNET53: A European Multicenter Phase I/II Trial of the Hsp90 Inhibitor Ganetespib Combined With Weekly Paclitaxel in Women With High-Grade, Platinum-Resistant Epithelial Ovarian Cancer-A Study of the GANNET53 Consortium.

Front Oncol 2019 10;9:832. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austrian AGO, Innsbruck, Austria.

Stabilized mutant p53 protein (mutp53) is a novel target in epithelial ovarian cancer. Due to aberrant conformation, mutp53 proteins depend on folding support by the Hsp90 chaperone. Hsp90 blockade induces degradation of mutp53, resulting in tumor cell cytotoxicity and increased sensitivity to chemotherapeutics. Preclinical synergy of the Hsp90 inhibitor ganetespib combined with paclitaxel provided the rationale for testing the combination in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (PROC) patients in the GANNET53 trial (NCT02012192). Eligible patients had high-grade PROC with ≤ 4 prior lines of chemotherapy. Weekly paclitaxel (80 mg/m) and increasing doses of ganetespib (100, 150 mg/m) were given i.v. on days 1, 8, 15 in a 28 days cycle until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Endpoints were safety and determination of phase II dose. Dose limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as grade 4 toxicity (with exceptions) occurring in cycles 1&2. Ten patients (median age 59 years; range 43-70) were enrolled. No DLT occurred in cohort 1 (4 patients treated with paclitaxel + ganetespib 100 mg/m), nor in cohorts 2 and 3 (6 patients treated with paclitaxel + ganetespib 150 mg/m). The most common adverse event (AE) related to ganetespib was transient grade 1/2 diarrhea ( = 6). Related grade 1/2 AEs in >2 patients included QTc prolongation ( = 4), nausea ( = 3), anemia ( = 3), headache ( = 3), fatigue ( = 3), and dyspnoea ( = 3). Most frequently related grade 3/4 AEs were diarrhea ( = 3) and neutropenia ( = 2). There was 1 death on study due to hemorrhage from a duodenal ulcer. Three patients discontinued study treatment due to serious AEs (digestive hemorrhage = 1, cardiac failure = 1, abdominal pain and vomiting = 1), 6 due to progressive disease, one due to investigator and patient decision. Two patients achieved a partial response (ORR 20%) and 4 patients a stable disease (disease control rate of 60%). Median PFS was 2.9 months (1.6 months in cohort 1 at 100 mg/m ganetespib, 5.1 months in cohorts 2+3 at 150 mg/m ganetespib). The combination of ganetespib 150 mg/m with paclitaxel 80 mg/m once weekly for 3 out of 4 weeks was generally well-tolerated with no DLTs, and therefore chosen for the randomized phase II trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.00832DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6746955PMC
September 2019

Rogaratinib in patients with advanced cancers selected by FGFR mRNA expression: a phase 1 dose-escalation and dose-expansion study.

Lancet Oncol 2019 10 9;20(10):1454-1466. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

Cantonal Hospital, St Gallen, Switzerland.

Background: The clinical activity of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitors seems restricted to cancers harbouring rare FGFR genetic aberrations. In preclinical studies, high tumour FGFR mRNA expression predicted response to rogaratinib, an oral pan-FGFR inhibitor. We aimed to assess the safety, maximum tolerated dose, recommended phase 2 dose, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary clinical activity of rogaratinib.

Methods: We did a phase 1 dose-escalation and dose-expansion study of rogaratinib in adults with advanced cancers at 22 sites in Germany, Switzerland, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, and France. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, and were ineligible for standard therapy, with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, a life expectancy of at least 3 months, and at least one measurable or evaluable lesion according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1. During dose escalation, rogaratinib was administered orally twice daily at 50-800 mg in continuous 21-day cycles using a model-based dose-response analysis (continuous reassessment method). In the dose-expansion phase, all patients provided an archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumour biopsy or consented to a new biopsy at screening for the analysis of FGFR1-3 mRNA expression. In the dose-expansion phase, rogaratinib was given at the recommended dose for expansion to patients in four cohorts: urothelial carcinoma, head and neck squamous-cell cancer (HNSCC), non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and other solid tumour types. Primary endpoints were safety and tolerability, determination of maximum tolerated dose including dose-limiting toxicities and determination of recommended phase 2 dose, and pharmacokinetics of rogaratinib. Safety analyses were reported in all patients who received at least one dose of rogaratinib. Patients who completed cycle 1 or discontinued during cycle 1 due to an adverse event or dose-limiting toxicity were included in the evaluation of recommended phase 2 dose. Efficacy analyses were reported for all patients who received at least one dose of study drug and who had available post-baseline efficacy data. This ongoing study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01976741, and is fully recruited.

Findings: Between Dec 30, 2013, and July 5, 2017, 866 patients were screened for FGFR mRNA expression, of whom 126 patients were treated (23 FGFR mRNA-unselected patients in the dose-escalation phase and 103 patients with FGFR mRNA-overexpressing tumours [52 patients with urothelial carcinoma, eight patients with HNSCC, 20 patients with NSCLC, and 23 patients with other tumour types] in the dose-expansion phase). No dose-limiting toxicities were reported and the maximum tolerated dose was not reached; 800 mg twice daily was established as the recommended phase 2 dose and was selected for the dose-expansion phase. The most common adverse events of any grade were hyperphosphataemia (in 77 [61%] of 126 patients), diarrhoea (in 65 [52%]), and decreased appetite (in 48 [38%]); and the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were fatigue (in 11 [9%] of 126 patients) and asymptomatic increased lipase (in 10 [8%]). Serious treatment-related adverse events were reported in five patients (decreased appetite and diarrhoea in one patient with urothelial carcinoma, and acute kidney injury [NSCLC], hypoglycaemia [other solid tumours], retinopathy [urothelial carcinoma], and vomiting [urothelial carcinoma] in one patient each); no treatment-related deaths occurred. Median follow-up after cessation of treatment was 32 days (IQR 25-36 days). In the expansion cohorts, 15 (15%; 95% CI 8·6-23·5) out of 100 evaluable patients achieved an objective response, with responses recorded in all four expansion cohorts (12 in the urothelial carcinoma cohort and one in each of the other three cohorts), and in ten (67%) of 15 FGFR mRNA-overexpressing tumours without apparent FGFR genetic aberration.

Interpretation: Rogaratinib was well tolerated and clinically active against several types of cancer. Selection by FGFR mRNA expression could be a useful additional biomarker to identify a broader patient population who could be eligible for FGFR inhibitor treatment.

Funding: Bayer AG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30412-7DOI Listing
October 2019

Phase 1 study of the MDM2 inhibitor AMG 232 in patients with advanced P53 wild-type solid tumors or multiple myeloma.

Invest New Drugs 2020 06 29;38(3):831-843. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Oncology Early Development, Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.

Background This open-label, first-in-human, phase 1 study evaluated AMG 232, an oral selective MDM2 inhibitor in patients with TP53 wild-type (P53WT), advanced solid tumors or multiple myeloma (MM). Methods In the dose escalation (n = 39), patients with P53WT refractory solid tumors enrolled to receive once-daily AMG 232 (15, 30, 60, 120, 240, 480, and 960 mg) for seven days every 3 weeks (Q3W). In the dose expansion (n = 68), patients with MDM2-amplified (well-differentiated and de-differentiated liposarcomas [WDLPS and DDLPS], glioblastoma multiforme [GBM], or other solid tumors [OST]), MDM2-overexpressing ER+ breast cancer (BC), or MM received AMG 232 at the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). Safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and efficacy were assessed. Results AMG 232 had acceptable safety up to up to 240 mg. Three patients had dose-limiting toxicities of thrombocytopenia (n = 2) and neutropenia (n = 1). Due to these and other delayed cytopenias, AMG 232 240 mg Q3W was determined as the highest tolerable dose assessed in the dose expansion. Adverse events were typically mild/moderate and included diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, decreased appetite, and anemia. AMG 232 plasma concentrations increased dose proportionally. Increases in serum macrophage inhibitor cytokine-1 from baseline were generally dose dependent, indicating p53 pathway activation. Per local review, there were no responses. Stable disease (durability in months) was observed in patients with WDLPS (3.9), OST (3.3), DDLPS (2.0), GBM (1.8), and BC (1.4-2.0). Conclusions In patients with P53WT advanced solid tumors or MM, AMG 232 showed acceptable safety and dose-proportional pharmacokinetics, and stable disease was observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-019-00840-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211202PMC
June 2020

Actionable molecular alterations in advanced gynaecologic malignancies: updated results from the ProfiLER programme.

Eur J Cancer 2019 09 24;118:156-165. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Medical Practices Evaluation Team - HESPER EA7425, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France; Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France; Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to identify actionable genomic alterations in the gynaecological subpopulation of the ProfiLER programme and to report clinical efficacy of recommended targeted treatment (RTT).

Methods: The ProfiLER programme (NCT01774409) is a multicentric prospective trial aiming to implement molecular profiling in patients with advanced refractory cancers. In this programme, tumour DNA is analysed by targeted next-generation sequencing (69 genes) and by whole genome array comparative genomic hybridisation. Clinical cases and genomic profiles are presented in a dedicated molecular tumour board to guide treatment strategies. We report here an analysis of patients with gynaecological cancers included in this trial.

Results: From February 2013 to February 2017, 309 patients with gynaecologic cancer were included; 279 (90%) had sufficient quality, and 131 patients (42.4%) had at least one actionable genomic alteration in cancer cells. Four alterations were shared by at least 3% of the patients: 27 (9.7%) PIK3CA mutations, 15 (5.4%) KRAS mutations, 11 (3.9%) ERBB2 amplifications and 9 (3.2%) CDKN2A deletions. Forty-one treatments were initiated among 39 patients (12.6% of the screened population): 8 (20%) had a partial response, and other 10 (24%) had a stable disease. The median progression-free survival was 2.7 months. The median overall survival was 15.6 months for patients who received a RTT.

Conclusion: Molecular profiling identified actionable alterations in 42.4% of patients with advanced refractory gynaecologic cancer, but only 12.6% were treated with a RTT. Among them, 46% derived clinical benefit (5.8% of the screened population).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.06.017DOI Listing
September 2019

Ramucirumab plus pembrolizumab in patients with previously treated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, gastro-oesophageal cancer, or urothelial carcinomas (JVDF): a multicohort, non-randomised, open-label, phase 1a/b trial.

Lancet Oncol 2019 08 10;20(8):1109-1123. Epub 2019 Jul 10.

Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey, UK.

Background: Pre-clinical and clinical evidence suggests that simultaneous blockade of VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) and PD-1 or PD-L1 enhances antigen-specific T-cell migration, antitumour activity, and has favourable toxicity. In this study, we aimed to assess the safety and preliminary antitumour activity of ramucirumab (an IgG1 VEGFR-2 antagonist) combined with pembrolizumab (an IgG4 PD-1 antagonist) in patients with previously treated advanced gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, non-small-cell lung cancer, or urothelial carcinoma.

Methods: We did a multicohort, non-randomised, open-label, phase 1a/b trial at 16 academic medical centres, hospitals, and clinics in the USA, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK. We enrolled adult patients aged 18 years or older with histologically confirmed gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (cohorts A and B), non-small-cell lung cancer (cohort C), or urothelial carcinoma (cohort D), whose disease had progressed on one or two lines of previous therapy (for those with gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma) or one to three lines of previous therapy (for those with non-small-cell lung cancer and urothelial carcinoma) that included platinum (for all tumour types) or fluoropyrimidine or both (for gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma). Eligibility criteria included presence of measurable disease and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1. Patients with previously untreated gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma and non-small-cell lung cancer were also enrolled (in two additional separate cohorts); the results for these cohorts will be reported separately. The first 21-day treatment cycle was a dose-limiting toxicity observation period (phase 1a; safety run-in), followed by a phase 1b cohort expansion stage. Pembrolizumab 200 mg was administered intravenously on day 1, and intravenous ramucirumab was administered at 8 mg/kg on days 1 and 8 for cohort A or at 10 mg/kg on day 1 for cohorts B, C, and D, every 3 weeks, until disease progression or other discontinuation criteria were met. The primary endpoint was the safety and tolerability of ramucirumab in combination with pembrolizumab assessed by the incidence of adverse events in both phase 1a and 1b and as dose-limiting toxicities during phase 1a. The safety and activity analysis set included all patients who received at least one dose of study treatment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02443324, and is no longer enrolling patients.

Findings: Between July 30, 2015 and June 24, 2016, we enrolled and treated 92 patients (41 with gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, 27 with non-small-cell lung cancer, and 24 with urothelial carcinoma). Median follow-up was 32·8 months (IQR 28·1-33·6). During the first cycle of treatment (phase 1a safety run-in; n=11), one patient with gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma who received the 8 mg/kg dose of ramucirumab had grade 3 abdominal pain, colitis, hepatitis, interstitial lung disease, and jaundice, and grade 4 cholestasis, and died on treatment on day 40; the death was deemed related to progressive disease. No additional dose-limiting toxicities occurred and the decision was made to maintain the full planned doses of ramucirumab and pembrolizumab in phase 1b (n=81). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 75 (82%) of 92 patients, the most common of which was fatigue (in 33 patients [36%]), predominantly of grade 1 or 2 severity. 22 patients (24%) had one or more treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or worse, most commonly hypertension (six patients; 7%) and colitis (five patients; 5%). Serious adverse events occurred in 53 (58%) of 92 patients, and were deemed related to treatment in 22 (24%) patients. The most common treatment-related serious adverse events were abdominal pain in patients with gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (in three [7%] of 41 patients); asthenia and myocardial infarction in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (two [7%] of 27 patients), and colitis in patients with urothelial carcinoma (two [8%] of 24 patients). Six (7%) of 92 patients discontinued treatment because of treatment-related adverse events, and one death (from pulmonary sepsis in a patient with gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma) was deemed related to treatment. The number of patients achieving an objective response was three (7%; 95% CI 1·5-19·9) of 41 in the gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma cohort, eight (30%; 13·8-50·2) of 27 in the non-small-cell lung cancer cohort, and three (13%, 2·7-32·4) in the urothelial carcinoma cohort.

Interpretation: Ramucirumab in combination with pembrolizumab showed a manageable safety profile with favourable antitumour activity in patients with previously treated advanced gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, non-small-cell lung cancer, and urothelial carcinoma. Our results contribute to the growing evidence that supports dual inhibition of the VEGF-VEGFR2 and PD-1-PD-L1 pathways. This combination could be further explored with or without chemotherapy, especially for patients with tumours for which single-agent checkpoint inhibitors have shown no additional benefit over chemotherapy.

Funding: Eli Lilly and Company, and Merck and Co.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30458-9DOI Listing
August 2019

Therapeutic targeting of macrophages enhances chemotherapy efficacy by unleashing type I interferon response.

Nat Cell Biol 2019 04 18;21(4):511-521. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Division of Tumor Biology & Immunology, Oncode Institute, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Recent studies have revealed a role for macrophages and neutrophils in limiting chemotherapy efficacy; however, the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic benefit of myeloid-targeting agents in combination with chemotherapy are incompletely understood. Here, we show that targeting tumour-associated macrophages by colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R) blockade in the K14cre;Cdh1;Trp53 transgenic mouse model for breast cancer stimulates intratumoural type I interferon (IFN) signalling, which enhances the anticancer efficacy of platinum-based chemotherapeutics. Notably, anti-CSF-1R treatment also increased intratumoural expression of type I IFN-stimulated genes in patients with cancer, confirming that CSF-1R blockade is a powerful strategy to trigger an intratumoural type I IFN response. By inducing an inflamed, type I IFN-enriched tumour microenvironment and by further targeting immunosuppressive neutrophils during cisplatin therapy, antitumour immunity was activated in this poorly immunogenic breast cancer mouse model. These data illustrate the importance of breaching multiple layers of immunosuppression during cytotoxic therapy to successfully engage antitumour immunity in breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41556-019-0298-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6451630PMC
April 2019

Long-term Clinical Outcomes and Biomarker Analyses of Atezolizumab Therapy for Patients With Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: A Phase 1 Study.

JAMA Oncol 2019 01;5(1):74-82

Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, England.

Importance: Atezolizumab (anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 [PD-L1]) is well tolerated and clinically active in multiple cancer types. Its safety and clinical activity in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) has not been reported.

Objective: To evaluate the safety, clinical activity, and biomarkers associated with the use of single-agent atezolizumab in patients with mTNBC.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Women with mTNBC (defined by investigator assessment) were enrolled between January 2013 and February 2016 in a multicohort open-label, phase 1 study at US and European academic medical centers. Median follow-up was 25.3 months (range, 0.4-45.6 months). Eligible patients regardless of line of therapy had measurable disease by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1; and a representative tumor sample for assessment of immune cell (IC) PD-L1 expression.

Interventions: Atezolizumab was given intravenously every 3 weeks until unacceptable toxic effects or loss of clinical benefit.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary outcome was safety and tolerability. Activity and exploratory outcomes included objective response rate (ORR), duration of response, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Outcomes were assessed in all patients and in key patient subgroups.

Results: Among 116 evaluable patients (median age, 53 years [range, 29-82 years]), treatment-related adverse events occurred in 73 (63%); 58 (79%) were grade 1 to 2. Most adverse events occurred within the first treatment year. The ORRs were numerically higher in first-line (5 of 21 [24%]) than in second-line or greater patients (6 of 94 [6%]). Median duration of response was 21 months (range, 3 to ≥38 months). Median PFS was 1.4 (95% CI, 1.3-1.6) months by RECIST and 1.9 (95% CI, 1.4-2.5) months by irRC. In first-line patients, median OS was 17.6 months (95% CI, 10.2 months to not estimable). Patients with PD-L1 expression of at least 1% tumor-infiltrating ICs had higher ORRs and longer OS (12% [11 of 91]; 10.1 [95% CI, 7.0-13.8] months, respectively) than those with less than 1% ICs (0 of 21; 6.0 [95% CI, 2.6-12.6] months, respectively). High levels of ICs (>10%) were independently associated with higher ORRs and longer OS.

Conclusions And Relevance: Single-agent atezolizumab was well tolerated and provided durable clinical benefit in patients with mTNBC with stable or responding disease and in earlier lines of treatment.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01375842.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.4224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6439773PMC
January 2019

Safety and clinical activity of atezolizumab monotherapy in metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer: final results from a phase I study.

Eur J Cancer 2018 09 1;101:201-209. Epub 2018 Aug 1.

Gustave Roussy and University Paris-Sud, Villejuif, France.

Introduction: Atezolizumab, an anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody, inhibits PD-L1:PD-1 and PD-L1:B7.1 interactions, restoring anticancer immunity. Here, we report final analyses from the non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cohort of the first atezolizumab phase I study.

Methods: Patients with NSCLC received atezolizumab 1-20 mg/kg or 1200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks. Baseline PD-L1 expression on tumour cells (TCs) and tumour-infiltrating immune cells (ICs) was assessed (VENTANA SP142 immunohistochemistry assay). Exploratory subgroup analyses investigated responses by baseline PD-L1 expression and oncogenic mutational status.

Results: Eighty-nine patients, 98% of whom had received previous systemic therapy, were evaluable for safety and antitumour activity. Atezolizumab was well tolerated, with grade III/IV treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) observed in 10 patients (11%). All-grade TRAEs occurring in >10% of patients were fatigue, nausea and decreased appetite; grade III/IV TRAEs occurring in >2% of patients were fatigue, dyspnoea, hyponatremia and hypoxia. One patient died from treatment-unrelated pneumonia. Objective response rate (ORR) was 50% (95% confidence interval [CI], 28%-72%), 33% (20%-48%), 29% (18%-41%) and 11% (1%-35%) for the TC3 or IC3, TC2/3 or IC2/3, TC1/2/3 or IC1/2/3 and TC0 and IC0 subgroups, respectively. All-patient ORR was 23% (95% CI, 14%-33%). Median duration of response was 16.4 months (range, 7.2-53.4+). One-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates were 63% (95% CI, 53%-73%), 37% (26%-47%) and 28% (18%-38%), respectively.

Conclusions: Single-agent atezolizumab was well tolerated with long-term clinical benefits, including durable responses and survival, in pretreated NSCLC. Improved responses and survival rates were seen with increasing baseline PD-L1 expression. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT01375842.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.06.031DOI Listing
September 2018

A first-in-human study investigating biodistribution, safety and recommended dose of a new radiolabeled MAb targeting FZD10 in metastatic synovial sarcoma patients.

BMC Cancer 2018 Jun 8;18(1):646. Epub 2018 Jun 8.

Medical Oncology Department, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Background: Synovial Sarcomas (SS) are rare tumors occurring predominantly in adolescent and young adults with a dismal prognosis in advanced phases. We report a first-in-human phase I of monoclonal antibody (OTSA-101) targeting FZD10, overexpressed in most SS but not present in normal tissues, labelled with radioisotopes and used as a molecular vehicle to specifically deliver radiation to FZD10 expressing SS lesions.

Methods: Patients with progressive advanced SS were included. In the first step of this trial, OTSA-101 in vivo bio-distribution and lesions uptake were evaluated by repeated whole body planar and SPECT-CT scintigraphies from H1 till H144 after IV injection of 187 MBq of In-OTSA-101. A 2D dosimetry study also evaluated the liver absorbed dose when using Y-OTSA-101. In the second step, those patients with significant tumor uptake were randomized between 370 MBq (Arm A) and 1110 MBq (Arm B) of Y-OTSA-101 for radionuclide therapy.

Results: From January 2012 to June 2015, 20 pts. (median age 43 years [21-67]) with advanced SS were enrolled. Even though In-OTSA-101 liver uptake appeared to be intense, estimated absorbed liver dose was less than 20 Gy for each patient. Tracer intensity was greater than mediastinum in 10 patients consistent with sufficient tumor uptake to proceed to treatment with Y-OTSA-101: 8 were randomized (Arm A: 3 patients and Arm B: 5 patients) and 2 were not randomized due to worsening PS. The most common Grade ≥ 3 AEs were reversible hematological disorders, which were more frequent in Arm B. No objective response was observed. Best response was stable disease in 3/8 patients lasting up to 21 weeks for 1 patient.

Conclusions: Radioimmunotherapy targeting FZD10 is feasible in SS patients as all patients presented at least one lesion with In-OTSA-101 uptake. Tumor uptake was heterogeneous but sufficient to select 50% of pts. for Y-OTSA-101 treatment. The recommended activity for further clinical investigations is 1110 MBq of Y-OTSA-101. However, because of hematological toxicity, less energetic particle emitter radioisopotes such as Lutetium 177 may be a better option to wider the therapeutic index.

Trial Registration: The study was registered on the NCT01469975 website with a registration code NCT01469975 on November the third, 2011.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-018-4544-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5994021PMC
June 2018

The Ectodysplasin receptor EDAR acts as a tumor suppressor in melanoma by conditionally inducing cell death.

Cell Death Differ 2019 03 31;26(3):443-454. Epub 2018 May 31.

Dependence Receptors, Cancer and Development Laboratory - Equipe labellisée 'La Ligue', LabEx DEVweCAN, Centre de Cancérologie de Lyon, INSERM U1052-CNRS UMR5286, Université de Lyon, Centre Léon Bérard, 69008, Lyon, France.

Ectodysplasin receptor EDAR is seen as a typical Tumor Necrosis Factor receptor (TNFR) family member known to interact with its ligand Eda-A1, and signaling mainly through the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) and c-jun N-terminal kinases pathways. Mutations in genes that encode proteins involved in EDAR transduction cascade cause anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. Here, we report an unexpected pro-apoptotic activity of EDAR when unbound to its ligand Eda-A1, which is independent of NF-κB pathway. Contrarily to other death receptors, EDAR does recruit caspase-8 to trigger apoptosis but solely upon ligand withdrawal, thereby behaving as the so-called dependence receptors. We propose that pro-apoptotic activity of unbound EDAR confers it a tumor suppressive activity. Along this line, we identified loss-of-pro-apoptotic function mutations in EDAR gene in human melanoma. Moreover, we show that the invalidation of EDAR in mice promotes melanoma progression in a B-Raf mutant background. Together, these data support the view that EDAR constrains melanoma progression by acting as a dependence receptor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41418-018-0128-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6370843PMC
March 2019

Nilotinib in locally advanced pigmented villonodular synovitis: a multicentre, open-label, single-arm, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2018 05 20;19(5):639-648. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France; University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France. Electronic address:

Background: Pigmented villonodular synovitis (alternatively known as diffuse-type giant cell tumour) is a rare, locally aggressive tumour driven by a specific translocation resulting in the overexpression of colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1). CSF1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibitors (ie, tyrosine kinase inhibitors and antibodies) induce a response in patients with pigmented villonodular synovitis. We investigated the safety and efficacy of a CSF1R tyrosine kinase inhibitor, nilotinib, in patients with locally advanced non-resectable pigmented villonodular synovitis.

Methods: In this phase 2, open-label, single-arm study, we enrolled patients from 11 cancer centres of hospitals in four countries (France, Netherlands, Italy, and Australia). Eligible patients were aged at least 18 years with a WHO performance status of 2 or less, and histologically confirmed progressive or relapsing pigmented villonodular synovitis that was inoperable, or resectable only with mutilating surgery. Patients received oral nilotinib (400 mg twice per day) until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or completion of 1 year of treatment. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients who were progression free at 12 weeks, which was centrally assessed according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1. Analyses were by modified intention to treat (ie, all patients with no major protocol violations who were treated with nilotinib for at least 3 weeks were included). All participants who received at least one dose of study drug were included in the safety analyses. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01261429, and the results presented here are the final analysis of the trial.

Findings: Between Dec 15, 2010, and Sept 28, 2012, we enrolled 56 patients with pigmented villonodular synovitis and treated them with nilotinib. Five (9%) patients discontinued study treatment before week 12; therefore, 51 patients were evaluable for the primary endpoint at 12 weeks. The estimated proportion of patients who were progression free at 12 weeks was 92·6% (95% credible interval 84·3-97·9). 54 (96%) of 56 patients had a treatment-related adverse event. Six (11%) of 56 patients had at least one grade 3 treatment-related adverse event (headache, dizziness, and hepatic disorders [n=1], pruritus and toxidermia [n=1], diarrhoea [n=1], increased γ-glutamyl transferase concentration [n=1], anorexia [n=1], and increased headache [n=1]). No grade 4 or 5 adverse events were reported. One patient had a treatment-related serious adverse event (toxidermia) and two patients had serious adverse events not considered to be related to the study drug (borderline ovarian tumour [n=1] and pilonidal cyst excision [n=1]).

Interpretation: More than 90% of patients with locally advanced unresectable progressive pigmented villonodular synovitis achieved disease control with 12 weeks of nilotinib treatment. These results indicate that CSF1R tyrosine kinase inhibitors have anti-tumour activity with manageable toxicity in patients with inoperable progressive pigmented villonodular synovitis. Randomised trials investigating the efficacy of nilotinib for patients with unresectable pigmented villonodular synovitis are warranted.

Funding: Novartis, Institut National du Cancer, EuroSARC, French National Cancer Institute, General Directorate of Care Supply, Lyon Research Innovation for Cancer, L'Agence nationale de la recherche, Laboratory of Excellence, Fondation ARC pour la recherche sur le cancer, Ligue contre le Cancer (comité de l'Ain), Info Sarcomes, and Association DAM'S.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30143-8DOI Listing
May 2018

Long-term outcome of dasatinib first-line treatment in gastrointestinal stromal tumor: A multicenter, 2-stage phase 2 trial (Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research 56/07).

Cancer 2018 04 9;124(7):1449-1454. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have improved the outcome of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), but most patients eventually develop resistance and progress. Dasatinib is a potent inhibitor of BCR-ABL, KIT, and SRC family kinases as well as imatinib-resistant cells. In GISTs, response evaluation is routinely done using computed tomography (CT) and F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography coupled to CT (FDG-PET/CT) for early response assessment and outcome prediction.

Methods: This was a 2-stage, phase 2 trial investigating dasatinib 2 × 70 mg per day in patients with histologically proven, TKI-naïve, FDG-PET/CT-positive GIST. The primary endpoint was FDG-PET/CT response.

Results: Of 52 planned patients, 47 were enrolled from January 2008 to November 2011, when the trial was terminated because of slow accrual. In total, 42 patients were eligible. The median patient age was 61 years, 24 patients were men, and 18 were women. Performance status was 0 in 29 patients and 1 in 13 patients. The median follow-up was 67.2 months. Patients went off trial for elective surgery (n = 8), after 26 cycles as per protocol (n = 5), for disease progression (n = 14), for toxicity (n = 7), and for other reasons (n = 5); and 3 patients died (2 had discontinued drug and 1 was still receiving drug). Toxicity was grade 4 in 5% and grade 3 in 48% of patients and was most often gastrointestinal or pulmonary. Dose was interrupted or reduced in 25% of cycles. The FDG-PET/CT response rate (complete plus partial responses) at 4 weeks was 74% (95% confidence interval, 56%-85%; 14 patients had a complete response, 17 had a partial response, 6 had stable disease, 3 had progressive disease, and 2 were not evaluable). The median progression-free survival was 13.6 months, and the median overall survival was not reached.

Conclusions: Dasatinib produced high metabolic response rates in TKI-naive patients with FDG-PET/CT-positive GIST. Cancer 2018;124:1449-54. © 2018 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31234DOI Listing
April 2018