Publications by authors named "Yung-Jue Bang"

419 Publications

Blocking TIM-3 in Treatment-refractory Advanced Solid Tumors: A Phase Ia/b Study of LY3321367 with or without an Anti-PD-L1 Antibody.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jan 29. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

START Madrid, Centro Integral Oncológico Clara Campal, Madrid, Spain.

Purpose: T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain-containing molecule-3 (TIM-3) blunts anticancer immunity and mediates resistance to programmed death 1 (PD-1) and PD ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors. We assessed a novel, first-in-class, TIM-3 mAb, LY3321367, alone or in combination with the anti-PD-L1 antibody, LY300054 in patients with advanced solid tumor.

Patients And Methods: This open-label, multicenter, phase Ia/b study aimed to define the safety/tolerability and recommended phase II dose (RP2D) of LY3321367 with or without LY300054. Secondary objectives included pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, immunogenicity, and efficacy. Biomarkers were assessed in exploratory analysis.

Results: No dose-limiting toxicities were observed in the monotherapy ( = 30) or combination ( = 28) dose escalation. LY3321367 treatment-related adverse events (≥2 patients) included pruritus, rash, fatigue, anorexia, and infusion-related reactions. Dose-proportional increase in LY3321367 concentrations was not affected by either LY300054 or antidrug antibodies (observed in 50%-70% of patients). Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling indicated 100% target engagement at doses ≥600 mg. LY3321367 RP2D was 1,200 mg biweekly for four doses followed by 600 mg every 2 weeks thereafter. In the non-small cell lung cancer monotherapy expansion cohort, outcomes varied by prior anti-PD-1 therapy response status: anti-PD-1/L1 refractory patients [ = 23, objective response rate (ORR) 0%, disease control rate (DCR) 35%, progression-free survival (PFS) 1.9 months] versus anti-PD-1/L1 responders ( = 14, ORR 7%, DCR 50%, PFS 7.3 months). In combination expansion cohorts ( = 91), ORR and DCR were 4% and 42%; CD8 infiltration in paired biopsies increased in approximately half these patients.

Conclusions: LY3321367 exhibited acceptable safety profile with favorable pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics but only modest antitumor activity. The therapeutic relevance of TIM-3 blockade requires further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4405DOI Listing
January 2021

Efficacy of Pembrolizumab Monotherapy for Advanced Gastric/Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer with Programmed Death Ligand 1 Combined Positive Score ≥10.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jan 14. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte, California.

Purpose: Pembrolizumab demonstrated efficacy in PD-L1-positive [combined positive score (CPS) ≥1] advanced gastric/gastroesophageal junction (G/GEJ) cancer in the first-, second-, and third-line setting in KEYNOTE-062, KEYNOTE-061, and KEYNOTE-059, respectively. To better delineate the specificity of CPS as a predictor of clinical outcomes, we analyzed pembrolizumab efficacy in patients with CPS ≥ 10 in these trials.

Patients And Methods: Included were patients with CPS ≥ 10 tumors from KEYNOTE-059 cohort 1 (pembrolizumab, = 46; ), KEYNOTE-061 (pembrolizumab, = 53; chemotherapy, = 55; ), and KEYNOTE-062 (pembrolizumab, = 92; chemotherapy, = 90; primary). Efficacy outcomes were overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR), and duration of response (DOR).

Results: In KEYNOTE-059, median follow-up was 6 months, median OS was 8 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 5.8-11.1], ORR was 17%, and median (range) DOR was 21 months (3+ to 35+). In KEYNOTE-061, median follow-up was 9 months, median OS (pembrolizumab vs. chemotherapy) was 10 versus 8 months (HR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.41-1.02), median PFS was 3 months versus 3 months (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.56-1.33), ORR was 25% versus 9%, and median (range) DOR was not reached (4 to 26+ months) versus 7 months (3-7). In KEYNOTE-062, median follow-up was 11 months, median OS (pembrolizumab vs. chemotherapy) was 17 months versus 11 months (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.49-0.97), median PFS was 3 months versus 6 months (HR, 1.09, 95% CI; 0.79-1.49), ORR was 25% versus 38%, and median (range) DOR was 19 months (1+ to 34+) versus 7 months (2+ to 30+).

Conclusions: This comprehensive analysis showed consistent improvements toward more favorable clinical outcomes with pembrolizumab across lines of therapy in patients with CPS ≥ 10 G/GEJ cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2980DOI Listing
January 2021

Phase II Trial of Postoperative Adjuvant Gemcitabine and Cisplatin Chemotherapy Followed by Chemoradiotherapy with Gemcitabine in Patients with Resected Pancreatic Cancer.

Cancer Res Treat 2020 Dec 30. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Purpose: Despite curative resection, the 5-year survival for patients with resectable pancreatic cancer is less than 20%. Recurrence occurs both locally and at distant sites and effective multimodality adjuvant treatment is needed.

Materials And Methods: Patients with curatively resected stage IB-IIB pancreatic adenocarcinoma were eligible. Treatment consisted of chemotherapy with gemcitabine 1,000mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 and cisplatin 60mg/m2 on day 1 every 3 weeks for 2 cycles, followed by chemoradiotherapy (50.4Gy/28Fx's) with weekly gemcitabine (300mg/m2/week), and then gemcitabine 1,000mg/m2 on day 1, 8 every 3 weeks for 4 cycles. The primary endpoint was one-year disease-free survival rate. The secondary endpoints were disease-free survival, overall survival, and safety.

Results: Seventy-four patients were enrolled. One-year disease-free survival rate was 57.9%. Median disease-free and overall survival were 15.0 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.6-18.4) and 33.0 months (95% CI, 21.8-44.2), respectively. At the median follow up of 32 months, 57 patients (77.0%) had recurrence including 11 patients whose recurrence was during the adjuvant treatment. Most of the recurrences were systemic (52 patients). Stage at the time of diagnosis (70.0% in IIA, 51.2% in IIB, p=0.006) were significantly related with 1-year DFS rate. Toxicities were generally tolerable, with 53 events of grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicity and four patients with febrile neutropenia.

Conclusion: Adjuvant gemcitabine and cisplatin chemotherapy followed by chemoradiotherapy with gemcitabine and maintenance gemcitabine showed efficacy and good tolerability in curatively resected pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4143/crt.2020.928DOI Listing
December 2020

A target-mediated drug disposition population pharmacokinetic model of GC1118, a novel anti-EGFR antibody, in patients with solid tumors.

Clin Transl Sci 2020 Dec 31. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

Department of Transdisciplinary Studies, Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

GC1118 is a monoclonal antibody for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that is currently under clinical development to treat patients with solid tumors. In this study, the pharmacokinetics (PKs) of GC1118 were modeled in solid tumor patients who received a 2-h intravenous infusion of GC1118 at 0.3, 1, 3, 5, or 4 mg/kg once-weekly (Q1W) on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 or 8 mg/kg every other week on days 1 and 15. A target-mediated drug disposition population PK model adequately described the concentration-time profiles of GC1118. Monte-Carlo simulation experiments of the PK profiles and EGFR occupancies (ROs) by GC1118 based on the final model showed that Q1W at 4 or 5 mg/kg will produce a better antitumor effect than Q2W at 8 mg/kg. Because GC1118 was safer at 4 mg/kg than 5 mg/kg in the phase I study, we suggest to test the 4 mg/kg Q1W regimen in further clinical trials with GC1118.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cts.12963DOI Listing
December 2020

Safety and Clinical Activity of a New Anti-PD-L1 Antibody as Monotherapy or Combined with Targeted Therapy in Advanced Solid Tumors: The PACT Phase Ia/Ib Trial.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 Nov 23. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Sarah Cannon Research Institute/Tennessee Oncology, Nashville, Tennessee.

Purpose: This phase Ia/Ib PACT study evaluated the safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and antitumor activity of a new programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor, LY3300054, as monotherapy or in combination with ramucirumab, abemaciclib, or merestinib (a type II MET kinase inhibitor) in patients with advanced, refractory solid tumors (NCT02791334).

Patients And Methods: Patients were enrolled into cohorts of escalating LY3300054 dose (phase Ia) as monotherapy ( = 15) or combined with ramucirumab ( = 10), abemaciclib ( = 24), or merestinib ( = 12). The phase Ib dose expansion enrolled 8 patients with melanoma in the monotherapy arm and 12 patients with pancreatic cancer in the merestinib combination arm. Combination treatments were administered concurrently from day 1 of each cycle. A 14-day lead-in abemaciclib arm was also explored. Primary endpoints were dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) and safety.

Results: Treatment-related adverse events included fatigue and nausea in the monotherapy arm (13% for each), hypothyroidism (30%) in the ramucirumab arm, diarrhea (54%) in the abemaciclib arm, and nausea (25%) in the merestinib arm. DLTs associated with hepatoxicity were observed in 3 of 4 patients in the abemaciclib lead-in cohorts. No DLTs or grade 3 or 4 hepatoxicity were reported in the concurrent abemaciclib arm. Pharmacokinetic characteristics were comparable with other PD-L1 inhibitors. One patient in each arm experienced a partial response per RECIST v1.1 lasting ≥7 months.

Conclusions: LY3300054 was well tolerated without unexpected safety concerns when administered alone or concurrently with ramucirumab, abemaciclib, or merestinib. Lead-in abemaciclib before combining with LY3300054 was not feasible due to hepatotoxicity. Durable clinical benefits were seen in all regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2821DOI Listing
November 2020

Phase III Trial of Avelumab Maintenance After First-Line Induction Chemotherapy Versus Continuation of Chemotherapy in Patients With Gastric Cancers: Results From JAVELIN Gastric 100.

J Clin Oncol 2020 Nov 16:JCO2000892. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Purpose: The role of maintenance therapy for gastric (GC) or gastroesophageal junction cancer (GEJC) is unclear. We investigated avelumab (anti-programmed death ligand-1 [PD-L1]) maintenance after first-line induction chemotherapy for GC/GEJC.

Patients And Methods: JAVELIN Gastric 100 was a global, open-label, phase III trial. Eligible patients had untreated, unresectable, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, locally advanced or metastatic GC or GEJC. Patients without progressive disease after 12 weeks of first-line chemotherapy with oxaliplatin plus a fluoropyrimidine were randomly assigned 1:1 to avelumab 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks or continued chemotherapy, stratified by region (Asia non-Asia). The primary end point was overall survival (OS) after induction chemotherapy in all randomly assigned patients or the PD-L1-positive randomly assigned population (≥ 1% of tumor cells; 73-10 assay).

Results: A total of 805 patients received induction; 499 were randomly assigned to avelumab (n = 249) or continued chemotherapy (n = 250). Median OS was 10.4 months (95% CI, 9.1 to 12.0 months) versus 10.9 months (95% CI, 9.6 to 12.4 months) and 24-month OS rate was 22.1% versus 15.5% with avelumab versus chemotherapy, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 0.91; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.11; = .1779). In the PD-L1-positive population (n = 54), the HR for OS was 1.13 (95% CI, 0.57 to 2.23; = .6352). In an exploratory analysis of the PD-L1-positive population, defined as combined positive score ≥ 1 (22C3 assay; n = 137), median OS was 14.9 months (95% CI, 8.7 to 17.3 months) with avelumab versus 11.6 months (95% CI, 8.4 to 12.6 months) with chemotherapy (unstratified HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.49 to 1.05). With avelumab and chemotherapy, treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) occurred in 149 (61.3%) and 184 (77.3%) patients, including grade ≥ 3 TRAEs in 31 (12.8%) and 78 (32.8%) patients, respectively.

Conclusion: JAVELIN Gastric 100 did not demonstrate superior OS with avelumab maintenance versus continued chemotherapy in patients with advanced GC or GEJC overall or in a prespecified PD-L1-positive population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00892DOI Listing
November 2020

First-line pembrolizumab/placebo plus trastuzumab and chemotherapy in HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer: KEYNOTE-811.

Future Oncol 2021 02 10;17(5):491-501. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Treatment options for patients with HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer are limited, and the prognosis for these patients is poor. Pembrolizumab has demonstrated promising antitumor activity in patients with advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma as monotherapy, in combination with chemotherapy and in combination with trastuzumab. Combining pembrolizumab with trastuzumab and chemotherapy may therefore provide a benefit for patients with advanced HER2-positive gastric cancer. Here we aimed to describe the design of and rationale for the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III KEYNOTE-811 study, which will evaluate the efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab or placebo in combination with trastuzumab and chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with advanced HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Clinical trial registration: NCT03615326 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0737DOI Listing
February 2021

KRAS Inhibition with Sotorasib in Advanced Solid Tumors.

N Engl J Med 2020 09 20;383(13):1207-1217. Epub 2020 Sep 20.

From the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, Phase I Clinical Trials Program, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (D.S.H., F.M.-B.); the Department of Medical Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duarte (M.G.F.), the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco (P.N.M.), and Amgen, Thousand Oaks (H.H., J.N., G.N., J.K., B.E.H., J.C., J.R.L., G.F.) - all in California; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC (J.H.S.); Royal Melbourne Hospital/Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC (J.D.), Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University of Adelaide, Woodville South, SA (T.J.P.), and Scientia Clinical Research, Randwick, NSW (J.C. Kuo) - all in Australia; the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis (G.A.D.); Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston (G.I.S.); the Sarah Cannon Research Institute at HealthONE, Denver (G.S.F.); Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto (A.S.); Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia (C.S.D.); the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (T.F.B.); Seoul National University College of Medicine (Y.-J.B.), Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (K.P.), and the Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine (T.W.K.) - all in Seoul, South Korea; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo (G.K.D.), and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, New York (P.L., B.T.L.) - all in New York; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (J.C. Krauss); the Department of Experimental Therapeutics, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Japan (Y.K.); the Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, University of Washington, Seattle (A.L.C.); Aix Marseille University, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INSERM, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Marseille, France (F.B.); Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta (S.S.R.); and the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (R.G.).

Background: No therapies for targeting mutations in cancer have been approved. The p.G12C mutation occurs in 13% of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) and in 1 to 3% of colorectal cancers and other cancers. Sotorasib is a small molecule that selectively and irreversibly targets KRAS.

Methods: We conducted a phase 1 trial of sotorasib in patients with advanced solid tumors harboring the p.G12C mutation. Patients received sotorasib orally once daily. The primary end point was safety. Key secondary end points were pharmacokinetics and objective response, as assessed according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), version 1.1.

Results: A total of 129 patients (59 with NSCLC, 42 with colorectal cancer, and 28 with other tumors) were included in dose escalation and expansion cohorts. Patients had received a median of 3 (range, 0 to 11) previous lines of anticancer therapies for metastatic disease. No dose-limiting toxic effects or treatment-related deaths were observed. A total of 73 patients (56.6%) had treatment-related adverse events; 15 patients (11.6%) had grade 3 or 4 events. In the subgroup with NSCLC, 32.2% (19 patients) had a confirmed objective response (complete or partial response) and 88.1% (52 patients) had disease control (objective response or stable disease); the median progression-free survival was 6.3 months (range, 0.0+ to 14.9 [with + indicating that the value includes patient data that were censored at data cutoff]). In the subgroup with colorectal cancer, 7.1% (3 patients) had a confirmed response, and 73.8% (31 patients) had disease control; the median progression-free survival was 4.0 months (range, 0.0+ to 11.1+). Responses were also observed in patients with pancreatic, endometrial, and appendiceal cancers and melanoma.

Conclusions: Sotorasib showed encouraging anticancer activity in patients with heavily pretreated advanced solid tumors harboring the p.G12C mutation. Grade 3 or 4 treatment-related toxic effects occurred in 11.6% of the patients. (Funded by Amgen and others; CodeBreaK100 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03600883.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1917239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7571518PMC
September 2020

Association of tumour mutational burden with outcomes in patients with advanced solid tumours treated with pembrolizumab: prospective biomarker analysis of the multicohort, open-label, phase 2 KEYNOTE-158 study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 10 10;21(10):1353-1365. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Background: Tumour mutational burden (TMB) has been retrospectively correlated with response to immune checkpoint blockade. We prospectively explored the association of high tissue TMB (tTMB-high) with outcomes in ten tumour-type-specific cohorts from the phase 2 KEYNOTE-158 study, which assessed the anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab in patients with selected, previously treated, advanced solid tumours.

Methods: In the multi-cohort, open-label, non-randomised, phase 2 KEYNOTE-158 study, patients were enrolled from 81 academic facilities and community-based institutions across 21 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, had a histologically or cytologically confirmed advanced (ie, unresectable or metastatic, or both) incurable solid tumour (eligible tumour types were anal, biliary, cervical, endometrial, mesothelioma, neuroendocrine, salivary, small-cell lung, thyroid, and vulvar), progression on or intolerance to one or more lines of standard therapy, had measurable disease per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST; version 1.1) assessed by independent central radiological review, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, life expectancy of at least 3 months, adequate organ function, and a tumour sample for biomarker analysis. Participants were given pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks for up to 35 cycles. Tissue TMB (tTMB) was assessed in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumour samples using the FoundationOne CDx assay (Foundation Medicine, Cambridge, MA, USA). The prespecified definition of tTMB-high status was at least 10 mutations per megabase. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with an objective response (complete or partial response) as per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (version 1.1) by independent central review. This prespecified analysis assessed the association between antitumour activity and tTMB in treated patients with evaluable tTMB data. Efficacy was assessed in all participants who received at least one dose of pembrolizumab, had evaluable tTMB data, and were enrolled at least 26 weeks before data cutoff (June 27, 2019), and safety was assessed in all participants who received at least one dose of pembrolizumab and had tTMB-high status. KEYNOTE-158 is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02628067, and is ongoing.

Findings: Between Jan 15, 2016, and June 25, 2019, 1073 patients were enrolled. 1066 participants were treated as of data cutoff (June 27, 2019), of whom 805 (76%) were evaluable for TMB, and 105 (13%) of 805 had tTMB-high status and were assessed for safety. 1050 (98%) of 1066 patients enrolled by at least 26 weeks before data cutoff, of whom 790 (75%) were evaluable for TMB and included in efficacy analyses. 102 (13%) of these 790 patients had tTMB-high status (≥10 mutations per megabase), and 688 (87%) patients had non-tTMB-high status (<10 mutations per megabase). Median study follow-up was 37·1 months (IQR 35·0-38·3). Objective responses were observed in 30 (29%; 95% CI 21-39) of 102 patients in the tTMB-high group and 43 (6%; 5-8) of 688 in the non-tTMB-high group. 11 (10%) of 105 patients had treatment-related serious adverse events. 16 (15%) participants had a grade 3-5 treatment-related adverse event, of which colitis was the only such adverse event that occurred in more than one patient (n=2). One patient had fatal pneumonia that was assessed by the investigator to be treatment related.

Interpretation: tTMB-high status identifies a subgroup of patients who could have a robust tumour response to pembrolizumab monotherapy. tTMB could be a novel and useful predictive biomarker for response to pembrolizumab monotherapy in patients with previously treated recurrent or metastatic advanced solid tumours.

Funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30445-9DOI Listing
October 2020

Efficacy and Safety of Pembrolizumab or Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy vs Chemotherapy Alone for Patients With First-line, Advanced Gastric Cancer: The KEYNOTE-062 Phase 3 Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2020 10;6(10):1571-1580

Vall d'Hebron University Hospital (HUVH) and Institute of Oncology (VHIO), IOB-Quiron, UVic-UCC, Barcelona, Spain.

Importance: Safe and effective therapies for untreated, advanced gastric/gastroesophageal junction (G/GEJ) cancer remain an unmet need.

Objective: To evaluate the antitumor activity of pembrolizumab, pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy, or chemotherapy alone in patients with untreated, advanced G/GEJ cancer with programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) combined positive score (CPS) of 1 or greater.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The phase 3 KEYNOTE-062 randomized, controlled, partially blinded interventional trial enrolled 763 patients with untreated, locally advanced/unresectable or metastatic G/GEJ cancer with PD-L1 CPS of 1 or greater from 200 centers in 29 countries between September 18, 2015, and May 26, 2017.

Interventions: Patients were randomized 1:1:1 to pembrolizumab 200 mg, pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy (cisplatin 80 mg/m2/d on day 1 plus fluorouracil 800 mg/m2/d on days 1 to 5 or capecitabine 1000 mg/m2 twice daily), or chemotherapy plus placebo, every 3 weeks.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary end points were overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with PD-L1 CPS of 1 or greater or 10 or greater.

Results: A total of 763 patients were randomized to pembrolizumab (n = 256), pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy (n = 257), or chemotherapy (n = 250). The median (range) age of all patients in the study cohort was 62 (20-87) years; 554 of 763 (72.6%) were men. At final analysis, after a median (range) follow-up of 29.4 (22.0-41.3) months, pembrolizumab was noninferior to chemotherapy for OS in patients with CPS of 1 or greater (median, 10.6 vs 11.1 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.91; 99.2% CI, 0.69-1.18). Pembrolizumab monotherapy was not superior to chemotherapy in patients with CPS of 1 or greater. Pembrolizumab prolonged OS vs chemotherapy in patients with CPS of 10 or greater (median, 17.4 vs 10.8 months; HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.49-0.97), but this difference was not statistically tested. Pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy was not superior to chemotherapy for OS in patients with CPS of 1 or greater (12.5 vs 11.1 months; HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.70-1.03; P = .05) or CPS of 10 or greater (12.3 vs 10.8 months; HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.62-1.17; P = .16) or for PFS in patients with CPS of 1 or greater (6.9 vs 6.4 months; HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.70-1.02; P = .04). Grade 3 to 5 treatment-related adverse event rates for pembrolizumab, pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy, and chemotherapy were 17%, 73%, and 69%, respectively.

Conclusions And Relevance: This phase 3 randomized clinical trial found that among patients with untreated, advanced G/GEJ cancer, pembrolizumab was noninferior to chemotherapy, with fewer adverse events observed. Pembrolizumab or pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy was not superior to chemotherapy for the OS and PFS end points tested.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02494583.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.3370DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489405PMC
October 2020

Ramucirumab and durvalumab for previously treated, advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, gastric/gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, or hepatocellular carcinoma: An open-label, phase Ia/b study (JVDJ).

Eur J Cancer 2020 09 19;137:272-284. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Background: Emerging evidence supports combining immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) with conventional or targeted therapies to enhance ICI antitumour activity and broaden the spectrum of patients who respond to ICIs. Here, we present the safety and preliminary efficacy of ramucirumab, an anti-VEGFR2 IgG1, plus durvalumab, an anti-PD-L1 IgG1, in previously treated patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), gastric/gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (gastric/GEJ), or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Patients And Methods: A 25-centre, phase Ia/b single-arm, non-randomised, multi-cohort study was undertaken in patients with advanced/metastatic disease, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, 0-1, progression on prior therapy, no prior ramucirumab or immunotherapy and any PD-L1 status. Patients received ramucirumab (10 mg/kg) plus durvalumab (1125 mg) intravenously Q3W (NSCLC), or ramucirumab (8 mg/kg) plus durvalumab (750 mg) Q2W (gastric/GEJ, HCC).

Results: Phase Ia treatment was found safe for phase Ib expansion; final enrolment was NSCLC (n = 28), gastric/GEJ (n = 29), HCC (n = 28). Grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 32.1%, 37.9% and 42.9% of patients, respectively. The most common were fatigue (35.7%), hypertension (34.5%) and diarrhoea (28.6%), respectively. Two patients died owing to an adverse event; one was treatment-related (hepatitis acute, HCC cohort). Objective response rate was 11% for NSCLC and HCC and 21% for gastric/GEJ. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were, respectively, 2.7 and 11 months in NSCLC; 2.6 and 12.4 months in gastric/GEJ; 4.4 and 10.7 months in HCC, with more prolonged survival in patients with high PD-L1 expression.

Conclusion: Ramucirumab/durvalumab exhibited manageable safety. The combination showed antitumour activity in all cohorts, particularly in patients with high PD-L1 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.06.007DOI Listing
September 2020

S-1 plus leucovorin and oxaliplatin versus S-1 plus cisplatin as first-line therapy in patients with advanced gastric cancer (SOLAR): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 08 16;21(8):1045-1056. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Division of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Hospital, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address:

Background: S-1 plus leucovorin and oxaliplatin showed promising efficacy for treatment of advanced gastric cancer in a randomised phase 2 study. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral TAS-118 (S-1 plus leucovorin) and oxaliplatin versus S-1 plus cisplatin in patients with advanced gastric cancer.

Methods: We did a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial in 62 centres across Japan and South Korea. Patients aged 20 years or older, with a histologically confirmed advanced gastric cancer with negative or unknown HER2 status, with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, measurable or evaluable metastatic lesions, and no previous treatment were randomly assigned (1:1) via an interactive web response system using the minimisation method, stratified by performance status, presence of a measurable lesion, and country, to receive TAS-118 (S-1 40-60 mg and leucovorin 25 mg orally twice daily for 7 days) plus oxaliplatin (85 mg/m intravenously on day 1) every 2 weeks, or S-1 (40-60 mg orally twice daily) for 21 days plus cisplatin (60 mg/m intravenously on day 1 or 8) every 5 weeks. The primary endpoint was overall survival in patients who had advanced gastric cancer with measurable or evaluable metastatic lesions and who received the study drug. Safety was assessed in all patients who received the study drug. This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02322593.

Findings: Between Jan 28, 2015, and Dec 5, 2016, 711 patients were randomised to TAS-118 plus oxaliplatin (n=356) or S-1 plus cisplatin (n=355). 11 untreated patients and 19 ineligible patients were excluded from the primary analysis (TAS-118 plus oxaliplatin group n=347, S-1 plus cisplatin group n=334) following recommendation from the independent data monitoring committee. After median follow-up of 26·0 months (IQR 22·0-32·8), median overall survival was 16·0 months (95% CI 13·8-18·3) in the TAS-118 plus oxaliplatin group and 15·1 months (95% CI 13·6-16·4) in the S-1 plus cisplatin group (hazard ratio 0·83, 95% CI 0·69-0·99; p=0·039). The most common grade 3 or higher adverse events in the 352 patients in the TAS-118 plus oxaliplatin group and the 348 patients in the S-1 plus cisplatin group were anaemia (56 [16%] vs 64 [18%]), neutropenia (54 [15%] vs 88 [25%]), decreased appetite (53 [15%] vs 46 [13%]), diarrhoea (33 [9%] vs 15 [4%]), and peripheral sensory neuropathy (30 [9%] vs one [<1%]). Serious adverse events were observed in 155 (44%) of 352 patients in the TAS-118 plus oxaliplatin group and 159 (46%) of 348 patients in the S-1 plus cisplatin group. Two treatment-related deaths occurred in the TAS-118 plus oxaliplatin group (pulmonary tuberculosis and viral pneumonia).

Interpretation: TAS-118 plus oxaliplatin showed a clinically meaningful improvement in efficacy compared with S-1 plus cisplatin, and could be considered a new first-line treatment option for advanced gastric cancer in Asian patients.

Funding: Taiho Pharmaceutical and Yakult Honsha.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30315-6DOI Listing
August 2020

Margetuximab plus pembrolizumab in patients with previously treated, HER2-positive gastro-oesophageal adenocarcinoma (CP-MGAH22-05): a single-arm, phase 1b-2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 08 9;21(8):1066-1076. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Background: Margetuximab, a novel, investigational, Fc-engineered, anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody, is designed to more effectively potentiate innate immunity than trastuzumab. We aimed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and antitumour activity of margetuximab plus pembrolizumab (an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody) in previously treated patients with HER2-positive gastro-oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

Methods: CP-MGAH22-05 was a single-arm, open-label, phase 1b-2 dose-escalation and cohort expansion study done at 11 academic centres in the USA and Canada and 15 centres in southeast Asia (Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore) that enrolled men and women aged 18 years or older with histologically proven, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic, HER2-positive, PD-L1-unselected gastro-oesophageal adenocarcinoma, with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, who had progressed after at least one previous line of therapy with trastuzumab plus chemotherapy in the locally advanced unresectable or metastatic setting. In the dose-escalation phase, nine patients were treated: three received margetuximab 10 mg/kg intravenously plus pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks and six received the recommended phase 2 dose of margetuximab 15 mg/kg plus pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks. An additional 86 patients were enrolled in the phase 2 cohort expansion and received the recommended phase 2 dose. The primary endpoints were safety and tolerability, assessed in the safety population (patients who received at least one dose of either margetuximab or pembrolizumab) and the objective response rate as assessed by the investigator according to both Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), version 1.1, in the response-evaluable population (patients with measurable disease at baseline and who received the recommended phase 2 dose of margetuximab and pembrolizumab). This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02689284. Recruitment for the trial has completed and follow-up is ongoing.

Findings: Between Feb 11, 2016, and Oct 2, 2018, 95 patients were enrolled. Median follow-up was 19·9 months (IQR 10·7-23·1). The combination therapy showed acceptable safety and tolerability; there were no dose-limiting toxicities in the dose-escalation phase. The most common grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events were anaemia (four [4%]) and infusion-related reactions (three [3%]). Serious treatment-related adverse events were reported in nine (9%) patients. No treatment-related deaths were reported. Objective responses were observed in 17 (18·48%; 95% CI 11·15-27·93) of 92 evaluable patients.

Interpretation: These findings serve as proof of concept of synergistic antitumour activity with the combination of an Fc-optimised anti-HER2 agent (margetuximab) along with anti-PD-1 checkpoint blockade (pembrolizumab).

Funding: MacroGenics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30326-0DOI Listing
August 2020

Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Microsatellite Instability-High Gastric Cancer.

Cancer Res Treat 2020 Oct 11;52(4):1178-1187. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Purpose: Microsatellite instability (MSI) status may affect the efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy in gastric cancer. In this study, the clinical characteristics of MSI-high (MSI-H) gastric cancer and the predictive value of MSI-H for adjuvant chemotherapy in large cohorts of gastric cancer patients were evaluated.

Material And Methods: This study consisted of two cohorts. Cohort 1 included gastric cancer patients who received curative resection with pathologic stage IB-IIIC. Cohort 2 included patients with MSI-H gastric cancer who received curative resection with pathologic stage II/III. MSI was examined using two mononucleotide markers and three dinucleotide markers.

Results: Of 359 patients (cohort 1), 41 patients (11.4%) had MSI-H. MSI-H tumors were more frequently identified in older patients (p < 0.001), other histology than poorly cohesive, signet ring cell type (p=0.005), intestinal type (p=0.028), lower third tumor location (p=0.005), and absent perineural invasion (p=0.027). MSI-H status has a tendency of better disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in multivariable analyses (hazard ratio [HR], 0.4; p=0.059 and HR, 0.4; p=0.063, respectively). In the analysis of 162 MSI-H patients (cohort 2), adjuvant chemotherapy showed a significant benefit with respect to longer DFS and OS (p=0.047 and p=0.043, respectively). In multivariable analysis, adjuvant chemotherapy improved DFS (HR, 0.4; p=0.040).

Conclusion: MSI-H gastric cancer had distinct clinicopathologic findings. Even in MSI-H gastric cancer of retrospective cohort, adjuvant chemotherapy could show a survival benefit, which was in contrast to previous prospective studies and should be investigated in a further prospective trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4143/crt.2020.313DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577821PMC
October 2020

Trastuzumab Deruxtecan in Previously Treated HER2-Positive Gastric Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2020 06 29;382(25):2419-2430. Epub 2020 May 29.

From the National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa (K. Shitara), the National Cancer Center Hospital (S.I.), Daiichi Sankyo (T.K., A.K., M.S.), and the Cancer Institute Hospital of JFCR (K.Y.), Tokyo, the Osaka International Cancer Institute (N.S.), Osaka University Hospital (D.S.), and Kindai University Hospital (H.K.), Osaka, and Niigata Cancer Center Hospital, Niigata (H.Y.) - all in Japan; Seoul National University College of Medicine (Y.-J.B.), the Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine (M.-H.R.), the Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine (H.-C.C.), and the Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (J.L.) - all in Seoul, South Korea; and Daiichi Sankyo, Basking Ridge, NJ (K. Saito, Y.K.).

Background: Trastuzumab deruxtecan (DS-8201) is an antibody-drug conjugate consisting of an anti-HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) antibody, a cleavable tetrapeptide-based linker, and a cytotoxic topoisomerase I inhibitor. The drug may have efficacy in patients with HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer.

Methods: In an open-label, randomized, phase 2 trial, we evaluated trastuzumab deruxtecan as compared with chemotherapy in patients with HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer. Patients with centrally confirmed HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma that had progressed while they were receiving at least two previous therapies, including trastuzumab, were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive trastuzumab deruxtecan (6.4 mg per kilogram of body weight every 3 weeks) or physician's choice of chemotherapy. The primary end point was the objective response, according to independent central review. Secondary end points included overall survival, response duration, progression-free survival, confirmed response (response persisting ≥4 weeks), and safety.

Results: Of 187 treated patients, 125 received trastuzumab deruxtecan and 62 chemotherapy (55 received irinotecan and 7 paclitaxel). An objective response was reported in 51% of the patients in the trastuzumab deruxtecan group, as compared with 14% of those in the physician's choice group (P<0.001). Overall survival was longer with trastuzumab deruxtecan than with chemotherapy (median, 12.5 vs. 8.4 months; hazard ratio for death, 0.59; 95% confidence interval, 0.39 to 0.88; P = 0.01, which crossed the prespecified O'Brien-Fleming boundary [0.0202 on the basis of number of deaths]). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or higher were a decreased neutrophil count (in 51% of the trastuzumab deruxtecan group and 24% of the physician's choice group), anemia (38% and 23%, respectively), and decreased white-cell count (21% and 11%). A total of 12 patients had trastuzumab deruxtecan-related interstitial lung disease or pneumonitis (grade 1 or 2 in 9 patients and grade 3 or 4 in 3), as adjudicated by an independent committee. One drug-related death (due to pneumonia) was noted in the trastuzumab deruxtecan group; no drug-related deaths occurred in the physician's choice group.

Conclusions: Therapy with trastuzumab deruxtecan led to significant improvements in response and overall survival, as compared with standard therapies, among patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer. Myelosuppression and interstitial lung disease were the notable toxic effects. (Funded by Daiichi Sankyo; DESTINY-Gastric01 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03329690.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2004413DOI Listing
June 2020

Inhibition of ATR Increases the Sensitivity to WEE1 Inhibitor in Biliary Tract Cancer.

Cancer Res Treat 2020 Jul 17;52(3):945-956. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Purpose: Currently, the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway represents a key target for new cancer drug development. Advanced biliary tract cancer (BTC) has a poor prognosis because of the lack of efficacious treatment options. Although DNA repair pathway alterations have been reported in many patients with BTC, little is known regarding the effects of DDR-targeted agents against BTC.

Materials And Methods: In this study, nine BTC cell lines were exposed to the WEE1 inhibitor (AZD1775). In vitro, MTT assay, colony-forming assay, cell cycle analysis, phospho-histone H3 staining assay, Transwell migration assay, and western blot were performed. Then, to enhance the antitumor effect of AZD1775, the combination treatment of WEE1 inhibitor and ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3 related (ATR) inhibitor (AZD6738) was conducted using MTT assay and comet assay. Finally, HuCCT-1 and SNU2670 xenograft models were established to confirm the anti-tumor effect of AZD1775 alone. Furthermore, the combination treatment was also evaluated in SNU2670 xenograft models.

Results: AZD1775 blocked the phosphorylation of CDC2 and CDC25C in all cell lines, but significantly increased apoptosis and S phase arrest in sensitive cells. However, increased p-ATR and phosphorylated ataxia telangiectasia mutated levels were observed in less sensitive cells. In addition, in vitro and in vivo data illustrated that AZD1775 combined with AZD6738 exerted more potent anti-tumor effects than either drug alone. Although WEE1 inhibition has promising anti-tumor effects in some BTC cells, the addition of ATR inhibitors could enhance its efficacy.

Conclusion: Taken together, this study supports further clinical development of DDR-targeted strategies as monotherapy or combination regimens for BTC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4143/crt.2020.080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7373879PMC
July 2020

Safety and Tolerability of Bintrafusp Alfa, a Bifunctional Fusion Protein Targeting TGFβ and PD-L1, in Asian Patients with Pretreated Recurrent or Refractory Gastric Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 07 16;26(13):3202-3210. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

National Cancer Center Hospital East, Chiba, Japan.

Purpose: Patients with advanced gastric/gastroesophageal junction cancer (GC/GEJC) have limited treatment options after first-line therapy. Bintrafusp alfa is a first-in-class bifunctional fusion protein composed of the extracellular domain of the TGFβRII receptor (a TGFβ "trap") fused to a human IgG1 antibody against programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), potentially offering a new treatment approach for these patients. We report results for bintrafusp alfa in GC/GEJC.

Patients And Methods: Asian patients with recurrent GC/GEJC for whom standard therapy does not exist or for whom standard therapy has failed enrolled in this expansion cohort of an ongoing phase I trial and received bintrafusp alfa 1,200 mg once every 2 weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or withdrawal. The primary objective was to assess safety/tolerability.

Results: By July 23, 2018, 31 heavily pretreated patients received bintrafusp alfa for a median of 10.1 weeks; 3 patients remained on treatment. Six patients (19%) experienced grade 3 treatment-related adverse events (AE); no grade 4 events occurred. One on-treatment death occurred (sudden death); rupture of a preexisting thoracic aortic aneurysm was the suspected cause. Ten patients (32%) had immune-related AEs. The confirmed objective response rate per independent review committee was 16%; disease control rate was 26%. Median duration of response was 8.7 months (range, 2.4-12.4+). Responses occurred irrespective of PD-L1 expression or microsatellite instability status and appeared to correlate with high tumor levels.

Conclusions: In this first evaluation in Asian patients with heavily pretreated advanced GC/GEJC, bintrafusp alfa demonstrated a manageable safety profile and clinical activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3806DOI Listing
July 2020

Phase I Escalation and Expansion Study of Bemarituzumab (FPA144) in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors and FGFR2b-Selected Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinoma.

J Clin Oncol 2020 07 13;38(21):2418-2426. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

Purpose: To evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary activity of bemarituzumab in patients with FGFR2b-overexpressing gastric and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (GEA).

Patients And Methods: FPA144-001 was a phase I, open-label, multicenter trial consisting of the following 3 parts: part 1a involved dose escalation in patients with recurrent solid tumors at doses ranging from 0.3 to 15 mg/kg; part 1b involved dose escalation in patients with advanced-stage GEA; and part 2 involved dose expansion in patients with advanced-stage GEA that overexpressed FGFR2b at various levels (4 cohorts; high, medium, low, and no FGFR2b overexpression) and 1 cohort of patients with FGFR2b-overexpressing advanced-stage bladder cancer.

Results: Seventy-nine patients were enrolled; 19 were enrolled in part 1a, 8 in part 1b, and 52 in part 2. No dose-limiting toxicities were reported, and the recommended dose was identified as 15 mg/kg every 2 weeks based on safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic parameters, and clinical activity. The most frequent treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) were fatigue (17.7%), nausea (11.4%), and dry eye (10.1%). Grade 3 TRAEs included nausea (2 patients) and anemia, neutropenia, increased AST, increased alkaline phosphatase, vomiting, and an infusion reaction (1 patient each). Three (10.7%) of 28 patients assigned to a cohort receiving a dose of ≥ 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks for ≥ 70 days reported reversible grade 2 corneal TRAEs. No TRAEs of grade ≥ 4 were reported. Five (17.9%; 95% CI, 6.1% to 36.9%) of 28 patients with high FGFR2b-overexpressing GEA had a confirmed partial response.

Conclusion: Overall, bemarituzumab seems to be well tolerated and demonstrated single-agent activity as late-line therapy in patients with advanced-stage GEA. Bemarituzumab is currently being evaluated in combination with chemotherapy in a phase III trial as front-line therapy for patients with high FGFR2b-overexpressing advanced-stage GEA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.01834DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7367551PMC
July 2020

Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Clinical Activity of Adavosertib in Combination with Chemotherapy in Asian Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors: Phase Ib Study.

Target Oncol 2020 02;15(1):75-84

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03080, South Korea.

Background: The WEE1 inhibitor adavosertib (AZD1775) has been investigated in Western patients.

Objective: This open-label Phase Ib study (NCT02341456) investigated the safety, pharmacokinetics, and clinical activity of adavosertib in combination with carboplatin alone or paclitaxel plus carboplatin in Asian patients with advanced solid tumors and defined the recommended Phase II dose.

Patients And Methods: Nineteen patients received adavosertib 175 mg twice daily (bid) for 2.5 days (five doses) in combination with carboplatin (AUC 5) alone or paclitaxel (175 mg/m) plus carboplatin, or adavosertib 225 mg bid for 2.5 days in combination with paclitaxel plus carboplatin in 21-day cycles. Preliminary safety and dose-limiting toxicity analyses were performed and dose escalation/de-escalation conducted as appropriate.

Results: Adavosertib 175 mg bid for 2.5 days with carboplatin alone or paclitaxel plus carboplatin was considered tolerable. Two patients receiving adavosertib 225 mg bid in combination with paclitaxel plus carboplatin experienced dose-limiting toxicities (grade 4 sepsis; grade 5 acute respiratory distress syndrome); this regimen was not considered tolerable. Grade ≥ 3 adverse events reported most commonly in any cohort included: anemia; decreased white blood cell count; decreased neutrophil count; neutropenia; decreased platelet count; thrombocytopenia; and febrile neutropenia. Exposure to adavosertib, as determined by pharmacokinetic analysis, in Asian patients was higher than that previously seen in Western patients. A partial response occurred in 2/12 evaluable patients (16.7%) at the recommended Phase II dose.

Conclusions: Adavosertib 175 mg bid for 2.5 days was chosen as the recommended Phase II dose in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in Asian patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-020-00701-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7028795PMC
February 2020

TDP1 and TOP1 Modulation in Olaparib-Resistant Cancer Determines the Efficacy of Subsequent Chemotherapy.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Feb 3;12(2). Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea.

The aim of this study was to elucidate the carryover effect of olaparib to subsequent chemotherapy and its underlying mechanisms. We generated olaparib-resistant SNU-484, SNU-601, SNU-668, and KATO-III gastric cancer cell lines and confirmed their resistance by cell viability and colony forming assays. Notably, olaparib-resistant cell lines displayed cross-resistance to cisplatin except for KATO-III. Inversely, olaparib-resistant SNU-484, SNU-668, and KATO-III were more sensitive to irinotecan than their parental cells. However, sensitivity to paclitaxel remained unaltered. There were compensatory changes in the ATM/ATR axis and p-Chk1/2 protein expression. ERCC1 was also induced in olaparib-resistant SNU-484, SNU-601, and SNU-668, which showed cross-resistance to cisplatin. Olaparib-resistant cells showed tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 1 (TDP1) downregulation with higher topoisomerase 1 (TOP1) activity, which is a target of irinotecan. These changes of TOP1 and TDP1 in olaparib-resistant cells was confirmed as the underlying mechanism for increased irinotecan sensitivity through manipulated gene expression of TOP1 and TDP1 by specific plasmid transfection and siRNA. The patient-derived xenograft model established from the patient who acquired resistance to olaparib with BRCA2 mutation showed increased sensitivity in irinotecan. In conclusion, the carryover effects of olaparib to improve antitumor effect of subsequent irinotecan were demonstrated. These effects should be considered when determining the subsequent therapy with olaparib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7072281PMC
February 2020

Clinical insights on outcomes of corticosteroid administration in immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced pneumonitis by retrospective case series analysis.

ESMO Open 2019 28;4(6):e000575. Epub 2019 Nov 28.

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Background: For the management of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-induced pneumonitis (ICI-pneumonitis), discontinuation of ICIs and high dose corticosteroid based on grade are generally recommended. The purpose of this study is to describe management and outcome of ICI-pneumonitis and explore what to consider when managing ICI-pneumonitis with or without corticosteroids in addition to grade.

Methods: We reviewed data of 706 cancer patients who were treated with ICIs and identified radiographically proven pneumonitis. The diagnosis of ICI-pneumonitis was established after excluding alternative aetiologies either by a bronchoscopy or a thorough examination of clinical features. The evaluation of the management and outcome of pneumonitis were evaluated according to the time of corticosteroid administration.

Results: ICI-pneumonitis developed in 16 patients (2.3%); nine grade 1, four grade 2 and three grade 3. Initially, 10 patients were spared from corticosteroid administration; fourpatients eventually received corticosteroid after 4 weeks of pneumonitis diagnosis due to clinical, radiographical aggravation and/or clinicians' decision. The other sixpatients never received corticosteroid and improved or remained stable radiographically. When the four and sixpatients were compared, pneumonitis grade was similar, while the latter sixpatients had a later onset from initiation of ICIs (mean 37.48 weeksvs25.45 weeks), more prior lines of chemotherapy (median 2.5 vs 1.0 lines), higher proportion of current/ex-smokers (83.3% vs 50.0%), and fewer other accompanying immune-related adverse events (50% vs 75%). Time to improvement of pneumonitis was similar between the fourpatients who received delayed corticosteroid and fivepatients who received corticosteroid within 4 weeks(3.6 vs 2.5 weeks).

Conclusions: Our analyses provide clinical insights that stratification of the patients is important in managing ICI-pneumonitis. Along with ICI-pneumonitis grade, more factors associated with the outcome need to be unravelled in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2019-000575DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6890388PMC
June 2020

Liposomal irinotecan in metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma in Asian patients: Subgroup analysis of the NAPOLI-1 study.

Cancer Sci 2020 Feb 20;111(2):513-527. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes (NHRI), Tainan, Taiwan.

The global, randomized NAPOLI-1 phase 3 trial reported a survival benefit with liposomal irinotecan (nal-IRI) plus 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (nal-IRI+5-FU/LV) in patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (mPDAC) after previous gemcitabine-based therapy. Median overall survival (OS) with nal-IRI+5-FU/LV was 6.1 vs 4.2 months with 5-FU/LV alone (unstratified hazard ratio [HR] = 0.67, P = .012). Herein, we report efficacy and safety results from a post-hoc subgroup analysis of Asian patients treated at Asian centers. Primary study endpoint was OS; secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR), and safety. Patients receiving nal-IRI+5-FU/LV (n = 34) had significantly longer median OS versus 5-FU/LV (n = 35) (8.9 vs 3.7 months; unstratified HR = 0.51, P = .025). Patients had significantly increased median PFS with nal-IRI+5-FU/LV versus 5-FU/LV (4.0 vs 1.4; unstratified HR = 0.48, P = .011), and increased ORR (8.8% vs 0; P = .114). nal-IRI monotherapy (n = 50) numerically improved efficacy endpoints versus 5-FU/LV (n = 48): median OS was 5.8 versus 4.3 months (HR = 0.83, P = .423) and median PFS was 2.8 versus 1.4 months (HR = 0.69, P = .155). Grade ≥3 neutropenia was reported more frequently with nal-IRI+5-FU/LV versus 5-FU/LV (54.5% vs 3.4%), and incidence of grade ≥3 diarrhea was comparable between the two arms (3.0% vs 6.9%). This subgroup analysis confirms nal-IRI+5-FU/LV as an efficacious treatment option that improves survival in Asian patients with mPDAC that progressed after gemcitabine-based therapy, with a safety profile agreeing with previous findings. The nal-IRI+5-FU/LV regimen should represent a new standard of care for these patients in Asia. (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01494506).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cas.14264DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7004519PMC
February 2020

Phase 1 study of capmatinib in MET-positive solid tumor patients: Dose escalation and expansion of selected cohorts.

Cancer Sci 2020 Feb 30;111(2):536-547. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

State Key Laboratory of Translational Oncology, Phase 1 Clinical Trial Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Capmatinib is an oral, ATP-competitive, and highly potent, type 1b MET inhibitor. Herein, we report phase 1 dose-escalation results for capmatinib in advanced MET-positive solid tumor patients and dose expansion in advanced non-lung tumors. Capmatinib was well tolerated with a manageable safety profile across all explored doses. Dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) occurred at 200 mg twice daily (bid), 250 mg bid, and 450 mg bid capsules; however, no DLT were reported at 600 mg bid (capsules). Capmatinib tablets at 400 mg bid had comparable tolerability and exposure to that of 600 mg bid capsules. Maximum tolerated dose was not reached; recommended phase 2 dose was 400 mg bid tablets/600 mg bid capsules; at this dose, C >EC (90% inhibition of c-MET phosphorylation in animal models) is expected to be achieved and maintained. Among the dose-expansion patients (N = 38), best overall response across all cohorts was stable disease (gastric cancer 22%, hepatocellular carcinoma 46%, other indications 28%); two other indication patients with gene copy number (GCN) ≥6 achieved substantial tumor reduction. Near-complete immunohistochemically determined phospho-MET inhibition (H-score = 2) was shown following capmatinib 450 mg bid capsule in paired biopsies obtained from one advanced colorectal cancer patient. Incidence of high-level MET GCN (GCN ≥6) and MET-overexpressing (immunohistochemistry 3+) tumors in the expansion cohorts was 8% and 13%, respectively; no MET mutations were observed. Thus, the recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) of capmatinib was 600 mg bid capsule/400 mg bid tablet. Capmatinib was well tolerated and showed antitumor activity and acceptable safety profile at the RP2D. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01324479).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cas.14254DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7004521PMC
February 2020

The prognostic role of soluble TGF-beta and its dynamics in unresectable pancreatic cancer treated with chemotherapy.

Cancer Med 2020 01 7;9(1):43-51. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Objectives: Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) is a multifunctional regulatory factor. Here we measured serum soluble TGF-β (sTGF-β) levels and evaluated its dynamics and prognostic capabilities during chemotherapy in unresectable pancreatic cancer patients.

Methods: We prospectively enrolled 60 patients treated with FOLFIRINOX as the first-line palliative chemotherapy. We collected blood samples at the time of diagnosis, first response assessment, and disease progression and measured serum sTGF-β using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: The patients' median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 10.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.5-12.1) and 6.5 (95% CI, 4.9-8.1) months, respectively. Patients with low sTGF-β at diagnosis (<31.2 ng/mL) had better OS and PFS than patients with high sTGF-β, respectively, (OS, 13.7 vs 9.2 months; hazard ratio [HR], 2.602; P = .004; PFS, 9.0 vs 5.8 months; HR, 2.010; P = .034). At the time of disease progression, sTGF-β was increased compared with that of diagnosis (mean, 26.4 vs 23.9 ng/mL). In particular, sTGF-β was significantly increased at disease progression in patients with a partial response (mean, 25.7 vs 31.0 ng/mL; P = .049).

Conclusions: Pretreatment sTGF-β levels can serve as a prognostic indicator in unresectable pancreatic cancer patients treated with FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy. Likewise, the dynamics of sTGF-β during chemotherapy have prognostic value.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.2677DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6943145PMC
January 2020

Efficacy of Pembrolizumab in Patients With Noncolorectal High Microsatellite Instability/Mismatch Repair-Deficient Cancer: Results From the Phase II KEYNOTE-158 Study.

J Clin Oncol 2020 01 4;38(1):1-10. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Purpose: Genomes of tumors that are deficient in DNA mismatch repair (dMMR) have high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and harbor hundreds to thousands of somatic mutations that encode potential neoantigens. Such tumors are therefore likely to be immunogenic, triggering upregulation of immune checkpoint proteins. Pembrolizumab, an anti‒programmed death-1 monoclonal antibody, has antitumor activity against MSI-H/dMMR cancer. We report data from the phase II KEYNOTE-158 study of pembrolizumab in patients with previously treated, advanced noncolorectal MSI-H/dMMR cancer.

Patients And Methods: Eligible patients with histologically/cytologically confirmed MSI-H/dMMR advanced noncolorectal cancer who experienced failure with prior therapy received pembrolizumab 200 mg once every 3 weeks for 2 years or until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or patient withdrawal. Radiologic imaging was performed every 9 weeks for the first year of therapy and every 12 weeks thereafter. The primary end point was objective response rate per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1, as assessed by independent central radiologic review.

Results: Among 233 enrolled patients, 27 tumor types were represented, with endometrial, gastric, cholangiocarcinoma, and pancreatic cancers being the most common. Median follow up was 13.4 months. Objective response rate was 34.3% (95% CI, 28.3% to 40.8%). Median progression-free survival was 4.1 months (95% CI, 2.4 to 4.9 months) and median overall survival was 23.5 months (95% CI, 13.5 months to not reached). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 151 patients (64.8%). Thirty-four patients (14.6%) had grade 3 to 5 treatment-related adverse events. Grade 5 pneumonia occurred in one patient; there were no other treatment-related fatal adverse events.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the clinical benefit of anti-programmed death-1 therapy with pembrolizumab among patients with previously treated unresectable or metastatic MSI-H/dMMR noncolorectal cancer. Toxicity was consistent with previous experience of pembrolizumab monotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.02105DOI Listing
January 2020

Safety and Efficacy of Durvalumab and Tremelimumab Alone or in Combination in Patients with Advanced Gastric and Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 02 1;26(4):846-854. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Gastrointestinal Oncology Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

Purpose: This randomized, multicenter, open-label, phase Ib/II study assessed durvalumab and tremelimumab in combination or as monotherapy for chemotherapy-refractory gastric cancer or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer.

Patients And Methods: Second-line patients were randomized 2:2:1 to receive durvalumab plus tremelimumab (arm A), or durvalumab (arm B) or tremelimumab monotherapy (arm C), and third-line patients received durvalumab plus tremelimumab (arm D). A tumor-based IFNγ gene signature was prospectively evaluated as a potential predictive biomarker in second- and third-line patients receiving the combination (arm E). The coprimary endpoints were objective response rate and progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 6 months.

Results: A total of 113 patients were treated: 6 in phase Ib and 107 (arm A, 27; arm B, 24; arm C, 12; arm D, 25; arm E, 19) in phase II. Overall response rates were 7.4%, 0%, 8.3%, 4.0%, and 15.8% in the five arms, respectively. PFS rates at 6 months were 6.1%, 0%, 20%, 15%, and 0%, and 12-month overall survival rates were 37.0%, 4.6%, 22.9%, 38.8%, and NA, respectively. Treatment-related grade 3/4 adverse events were reported in 17%, 4%, 42%, 16%, and 11% of patients, respectively.

Conclusions: Response rates were low regardless of monotherapy or combination strategies. No new safety signals were identified. Including use of a tumor-based IFNγ signature and change in baseline and on-treatment circulating tumor DNA are clinically feasible and may be novel strategies to improve treatment response in this difficult-to-treat population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2443DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7748730PMC
February 2020

HER2-targeted therapies - a role beyond breast cancer.

Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2020 01 23;17(1):33-48. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

HER2 is an established therapeutic target in a large subset of women with breast cancer; a variety of agents including trastuzumab, pertuzumab, lapatinib, neratinib and trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) have been approved for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. HER2 is also overexpressed in subsets of patients with other solid tumours. Notably, the addition of trastuzumab to first-line chemotherapy has improved the overall survival of patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer, and has become the standard-of-care treatment for this group of patients. However, trials involving pertuzumab, lapatinib and T-DM1 have failed to provide significant improvements in the outcomes of patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer. HER2-targeted therapies are also being tested in patients with other solid tumours harbouring HER2 overexpression, and/or amplifications or other mutations of the gene encoding HER2 (ERBB2), including biliary tract, colorectal, non-small-cell lung and bladder cancers. The experience with gastric cancer suggests that the successes observed in HER2-positive breast cancer might not be replicated in these other tumour types, owing to differences in the level of HER2 overexpression and other aspects of disease biology. In this Review, we describe the current role of HER2-targeted therapies beyond breast cancer and also highlight the potential of novel HER2-targeted agents that are currently in clinical development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41571-019-0268-3DOI Listing
January 2020

Prognostic implications of soluble programmed death-ligand 1 and its dynamics during chemotherapy in unresectable pancreatic cancer.

Sci Rep 2019 07 31;9(1):11131. Epub 2019 Jul 31.

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

In pancreatic cancer, acquiring a sufficient amount of tumor tissue is an obstacle. The soluble form of PD-L1 (sPD-L1) may have immunosuppressive activity. Here, we evaluated the prognostic implications of sPD-L1 in unresectable pancreatic cancer. We prospectively enrolled 60 patients treated with first-line FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy. We collected blood samples at diagnosis, first response assessment and disease progression. Serum sPD-L1 levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The median sPD-L1 level was 1.7 ng/mL (range, 0.4-5.7 ng/mL). Patients with low sPD-L1 level (<4.6 ng/mL) at diagnosis showed better overall survival (OS) than those with high sPD-L1 level (P = 0.015). Multivariate analysis identified sPD-L1 and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio as independent prognostic factors for OS. During chemotherapy, more patients achieved complete response (CR)/partial response (PR) as their best response when sPD-L1 was decreased at the first response assessment (P = 0.038). In the patients who achieved CR/PR as their best response, sPD-L1 was significantly higher at the time of disease progression than at the first response assessment (P = 0.025). In conclusion, the sPD-L1 level at diagnosis exhibits a prognostic value in pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, sPD-L1 dynamics correlate with disease course and could be used to understand various changes in the tumor microenvironment during chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-47330-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6668419PMC
July 2019

Enhanced antitumor effect of binimetinib in combination with capecitabine for biliary tract cancer patients with mutations in the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway: phase Ib study.

Br J Cancer 2019 08 17;121(4):332-339. Epub 2019 Jul 17.

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Background: A phase Ib study of binimetinib and capecitabine for gemcitabine-pretreated biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients was conducted.

Methods: Binimetinib and capecitabine were dosed twice daily on days 1-14, in 3-week cycles. In the dose-escalation (DE) part, three dose levels (DL) were tested (DL1: binimetinib/capecitabine, 15 mg/1000 mg/m; DL2: 30 mg/1000 mg/m; DL3: 30 mg/1250 mg/m).

Results: In the DE part, nine patients were recruited and no dose-limiting toxicity was noted. Therefore, the recommended phase 2 dose was determined as DL3. In the expansion part, 25 patients were enrolled. In total, 34 patients, 25 (73.5%) and 9 patients (26.5%) were second-line and third-line settings, respectively. The 3-month progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 64.0%, and the median PFS and overall survival (OS) were 4.1 and 7.8 months. The objective response rate and disease control rate were 20.6% and 76.5%. In total, 68.4% of stable diseases were durable (> 12 weeks). Furthermore, patients with RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway mutations (38.5%) showed significantly better tumour response (p = 0.028), PFS (5.4 vs. 3.5 months, p = 0.010) and OS (10.8 vs. 5.9 months, p = 0.160) than wild type. Most of the adverse events were grade 1/2 and manageable.

Conclusions: A combination of binimetinib and capecitabine shows acceptable tolerability and promising antitumor efficacy for gemcitabine-pretreated BTC, especially in patients with RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway mutations.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT02773459).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-019-0523-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6738070PMC
August 2019

Challenges and insights of early oncology drug development in the Asia-Pacific region: introduction of phase I oncology clinical trial center and experience sharing for early clinical trials in Seoul National University Hospital, Korea.

Chin Clin Oncol 2019 Jun;8(3):27

Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Trials Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Korea has become the hub of clinical trials in the world. Korea Good Clinical Practice was legislated in 1995, with an amendment in 2001 to adopt International Council of Harmonization (ICH)-Good Clinical Practive (GCP). New Clinical Trial Authorization (CTA) process, which was introduced in 2002 to streamline the regulatory process along with faster study start up, facilitated clinical trials registration in Korea. Following 2002, the number of multinational trials conducted in Korea began to increase rapidly. It was initially centered on late-phase trials, but subsequently moved on to early phase research incorporating translational research and pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) studies including ethnic difference research. Globally, Seoul National University Hospital Clinical Trials Center (SNUH CTC) is one of the most experienced clinical research facilities. In 2018, 33 phase III studies, 43 phase II studies, and 44 phase I studies were initiated at SNUH CTC oncology team. Oncology phase I clinical trials contributed 42.7% of newly started phase I clinical trials in SNUH CTC in 2018. One of the most important strengths of our oncology team is that SNUH and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Clinical Trials Center (SNUBH CTC) are working together in one team for all solid tumor types. This collaborative work was very efficient to recruit patients for multi-cohort in early phase trials including basket trial, umbrella trial, and platform trials. One of the main focus of SNUH oncology team is to perform first in human phase I study. We believe target identification and enrichment through translational research is an important process in drug development. SNUH/SNUBH CTC will continue top-notch clinical trials for the global drug development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cco.2019.06.05DOI Listing
June 2019