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There is a great need to develop novel approaches to target oncogenic transcription factors with small molecules. Ewing sarcoma is emblematic of this need, as it depends on the continued activity of the EWS-FLI1 transcription factor to maintain the malignant phenotype. We have previously shown that the small molecule trabectedin interferes with EWS-FLI1. Here, we report important mechanistic advances and a second-generation inhibitor to provide insight into the therapeutic targeting of EWS-FLI1. We discovered that trabectedin functionally inactivated EWS-FLI1 by redistributing the protein within the nucleus to the nucleolus. This effect was rooted in the wild-type functions of the EWSR1, compromising the N-terminal half of the chimeric oncoprotein, which is known to be similarly redistributed within the nucleus in the presence of UV light damage. A second-generation trabectedin analogue lurbinectedin (PM01183) caused the same nuclear redistribution of EWS-FLI1, leading to a loss of activity at the promoter, mRNA, and protein levels of expression. Tumor xenograft studies confirmed this effect, and it was increased in combination with irinotecan, leading to tumor regression and replacement of Ewing sarcoma cells with benign fat cells. The net result of combined lurbinectedin and irinotecan treatment was a complete reversal of EWS-FLI1 activity and elimination of established tumors in 30% to 70% of mice after only 11 days of therapy. Our results illustrate the preclinical safety and efficacy of a disease-specific therapy targeting the central oncogenic driver in Ewing sarcoma. Cancer Res; 76(22); 6657-68. ©2016 AACR.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.
PURPOSE - The goal of this study is to optimize the activity of trabectedin for Ewing sarcoma by developing a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - We have recently shown that trabectedin interferes with the activity of EWS-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma cells. In this report, we build on this work to develop a trabectedin-based combination therapy with improved EWS-FLI1 suppression that also targets the drug-associated DNA damage to Ewing sarcoma cells.
RESULTS - We demonstrate by siRNA experiments that EWS-FLI1 drives the expression of the Werner syndrome protein (WRN) in Ewing sarcoma cells. Because WRN-deficient cells are known to be hypersensitive to camptothecins, we utilize trabectedin to block EWS-FLI1 activity, suppress WRN expression, and selectively sensitize Ewing sarcoma cells to the DNA-damaging effects of SN38. We show that trabectedin and SN38 are synergistic, demonstrate an increase in DNA double-strand breaks, an accumulation of cells in S-phase and a low picomolar IC50. In addition, SN38 cooperates with trabectedin to augment the suppression of EWS-FLI1 downstream targets, leading to an improved therapeutic index in vivo. These effects translate into the marked regression of two Ewing sarcoma xenografts at a fraction of the dose of camptothecin used in other xenograft studies.
CONCLUSIONS - These results provide the basis and rationale for translating this drug combination to the clinic. In addition, the study highlights an approach that utilizes a targeted agent to interfere with an oncogenic transcription factor and then exploits the resulting changes in gene expression to develop a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
PURPOSE - To investigate pharmacokinetics (PK) of encapsulated CPT-11, released CPT-11 and the active metabolite SN-38 following administration of IHL-305 and to identify factors that may influence IHL-305 PK.
METHODS - Plasma samples from 39 patients with solid tumors were collected in a phase I study. IHL-305 was administered as a 1 h IV infusion with doses ranging from 3.5 to 210 mg/m(2). Plasma concentrations of encapsulated CPT-11, released CPT-11 and SN-38 were used to develop a population PK model using NONMEM®.
RESULTS - PK of encapsulated CPT-11 was described by 1-compartment model with nonlinear clearance and PK of released CPT-11 was described by a 1-compartment model with linear clearance for all patients. PK of the active metabolite SN-38 was described by a 2-compartment model with linear clearance for all patients. Covariate analysis revealed that gender was a significant covariate for volume of distribution of encapsulated CPT-11. Vencap in male patients is 1.5-fold higher compared with female patients.
CONCLUSIONS - The developed population PK modeling approach is useful to predict PK exposures of encapsulated and released drug and can be applied to the more than 300 other nanoparticle formulations of anticancer agents that are currently in development. The effect of gender on PK of IHL-305 needs to be further evaluated.
Aflibercept, an intravenously administered anti-VEGF and antiplacental growth factor (PlGF) agent, has recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in combination with 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and irinotecan (FOLFIRI) for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have previously received an oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy regimen. In the phase III VELOUR trial, aflibercept plus FOLFIRI statistically significantly prolonged both progression-free survival (PFS; median PFS for the aflibercept plus FOLFIRI arm was 6.90 vs. 4.67 months for the placebo-plus-FOLFIRI arm) and overall survival (median overall survival for the aflibercept-plus-FOLFIRI arm was 13.50 vs. 12.06 months for the placebo plus FOLFIRI arm), but grade 3 or 4 adverse events were more common with the addition of aflibercept. However, the addition of aflibercept to 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (mFOLFOX6) in the phase II AFFIRM trial of first-line treatment of mCRC failed to improve PFS or response rate. As a decoy VEGF receptor, aflibercept (VEGF-Trap) has binding affinity for VEGF-A, VEGF-B, PlGF-1, and PlGF-2, and this is a mechanism of significant interest. Optimal strategies for incorporating aflibercept into treatment regimens that include other anti-VEGF and cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents, as well as development of predictive biomarkers for treatment response, have yet to be defined.
PURPOSE - IHL-305 is a novel PEGylated liposome containing irinotecan. This study examined the safety profile and pharmacokinetics of IHL-305 and established the maximum tolerated dose and recommended phase II dose (RP2D).
PATIENTS AND METHODS - In a standard 3 + 3 design, IHL-305 was administered IV on day 1 of a 28-day treatment schedule. Subsequently, a 14-day treatment schedule was also explored. Two patient populations were evaluated separately: Patients with at least one wild-type (wt) allele of UGT1A1 (UDP glucoronosyltransferase 1A1) wt/wt or wt/*28 as one group (referred to as UGT1A1 wt group) and patients with UGT1A1*28 homozygous variant (*28/*28) as another group.
RESULTS - Sixty patients were treated: 42 on the 28-day schedule and 18 on the 14-day schedule. Seven patients were homozygous variant (*28/*28). In the UGT1A1 wt group, the MTD and RP2D of IHL-305 was 160 mg/m(2) every 28 days and 80 mg/m(2) every 14 days. DLTs included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and neutropenia. The most common adverse events were nausea (75 %), vomiting (52 %), diarrhea (62 %), anorexia (57 %), and fatigue (57 %). At the MTD for both schedules, IHL-305 administration resulted in a high and prolonged exposure of sum total irinotecan, released irinotecan, and SN-38 in plasma. One partial response was observed in a patient with breast cancer and eight patients had stable disease for >6 months.
CONCLUSIONS - IHL-305, a novel preparation of irinotecan encapsulated in liposomes, can be safely given to patients in a repeated fashion on a 4- or 2-week dosing schedule.
BACKGROUND - Constitutive activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is associated with poor prognosis. Irinotecan demonstrates single-agent activity in head and neck cancer but activates NF-κB, promoting cell survival and resistance. Bortezomib is a proteasome inhibitor that inactivates NF-κB.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - We performed a randomized phase II trial of bortezomib on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 and irinotecan on days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle or single-agent bortezomib on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 on a 21-day cycle. The addition of irinotecan to bortezomib was allowed in patients who progressed on bortezomib alone.
RESULTS - The response rate of bortezomib and irinotecan was 13%. One patient had a partial response to bortezomib alone (response rate 3%). No responses were seen in patients with addition of irinotecan at time of progression on bortezomib.
CONCLUSIONS - The bortezomib-based regimens evaluated in this study have minimal activity in recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer.
Published 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
OBJECTIVES - Our study set out to determine the antitumor efficacy of carboplatin and irinotecan as assessed by response rate in persons with chemotherapy-naive extensive-disease, small-cell lung cancer (ED-SCLC). Secondary objectives included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and toxicity findings.
METHODS - Patients with previously untreated ED-SCLC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) of 0-2, life expectancy ≥ 3 months, and adequate organ function were eligible. Patients were treated with carboplatin AUC 5 intravenously over 30-60 minutes on day 1, followed by CPT-11(irinotecan) 50 mg/m(2) intravenously over 30-90 minutes on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks for 4-6 cycles at the discretion of the treating physician.
RESULTS - Fifty-six patients were enrolled, and 50 patients were eligible. The median age of patients was 60.1 years. The most common toxicities were neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, nausea/vomiting, and dehydration. The overall response rate was 58%. Median PFS was 5.3 months, median overall survival was 9.7 months, and 1-year overall survival was 28.7%.
CONCLUSIONS - Carboplatin and irinotecan is a safe and reasonable combination for the treatment of patients with ED-SCLC.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - To assess the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) of orally administered irinotecan in the semi-solid matrix (SSM) formulation, both as a single agent and in sequential combination with capecitabine, in patients with advanced solid tumors.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Forty-three patients were treated with irinotecan given as a single oral daily dose on days 1-5 every three weeks. An additional forty patients were treated with sequential oral irinotecan given daily on days 1-5 followed by capecitabine given orally as a divided dose twice daily on days 6-14 of each three week cycle.
RESULTS - The MTD of single-agent oral irinotecan was estimated to be 60 mg/m(2)/day, and DLT included diarrhea, nausea, and neutropenia. In an initial group of patients with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) of 0 to 2, the MTD of sequential oral irinotecan/capecitabine was estimated to be 40/1600 mg/m(2)/day with DLT of delayed diarrhea. In a subsequent group of patients with ECOG PS of 0 or 1, the MTD for the sequential combination was 50/2000 mg/m(2)/day. The most common adverse events were fatigue, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting and dehydration. Pharmacokinetic (PK) evaluation showed that oral irinotecan was rapidly absorbed and effectively converted to the active metabolite, SN-38, achieving approximately 50% of the SN-38 systemic exposure resulting from an equivalent IV dose.
CONCLUSIONS - Oral irinotecan can be safely administered as a single agent or in sequential combination with capecitabine. The efficacy of oral irinotecan should be explored further as a potentially convenient alternative to IV chemotherapy.
OBJECTIVES - This phase I study was conducted to evaluate the combination of irinotecan, a topoisomerase I inhibitor, with epirubicin, a topoisomerase II inhibitor, when administered sequentially on a once-every-three week basis.
METHODS - Irinotecan was administered at doses ranging from 100 to 150 mg/m(2) intravenously over 90 minutes, 24 hours before epirubicin, in doses from 30 to 60 mg/m(2), every 3 weeks. Toxicity assessments were performed weekly. Tumor evaluation by radiographic and physical examination was performed after every 3 cycles using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors.
RESULTS - Eighteen patients with metastatic solid tumors were enrolled in this study. The maximum tolerated dose and recommended phase II dose was irinotecan 150 mg/m(2) and epirubicin 30 mg/m(2). Dose-limiting toxicities were primarily neutropenia. Other toxicities at this dose level were mild. Three patients with colon cancer, 1 patient with renal cell cancer and 1 patient with adenosquamous cell carcinoma of the ethmoid sinus had stable disease. No objective responses were observed.
CONCLUSIONS - The maximum tolerated dose and recommended phase II dose for irinotecan and epirubicin administered 24 hours apart every 3 weeks was 150 mg/m(2) and 30 mg/m(2), respectively. Higher doses were limited by significant hematologic toxicity and fatigue.
BACKGROUND - Patients with recurrent or metastatic HNC have a poor response and survival with currently available chemotherapy agents. Thus, new agents are needed. The authors report the results of a phase II trial of irinotecan and cisplatin in patients with metastatic or recurrent HNC.
METHODS - Patients were treated with irinotecan 65 mg/m2 IV over 90 minutes and cisplatin 30 mg/m2 were administered intravenously weekly for four weeks, followed by a two week rest. However, after 17 patients were treated with weekly irinotecan at a dose of 65 mg/m2, toxicity analysis demonstrated the poor tolerance of that dose in this patient population. Thus, the protocol was amended, and irinotecan was dose reduced to a starting dose of 50 mg/m2. Twenty-three additional patients were treated with this dose.
RESULTS - Forty patients were enrolled on study between February 2002 and April 2006, 17 patients at the first dose level and 23 patients at the amended dose level. Overall, 12 of 17 patients (71%) treated with irinotecan 65 mg/m2 experienced clinically significant grade 3 or 4 toxicity. Twelve patients required dose reductions. Toxicity was reduced but 17% of patients still experienced grade 3 or 4 toxicity on the lower irinotecan dose. The response rate was 35% for patients treated at irinotecan 65 mg/m2 and 22% for patients treated at 50 mg/m2. No complete responses were noted.
CONCLUSIONS - The combination of irinotecan and cisplatin is efficacious in a poor prognosis group of patients but toxicity is substantial.
(Copyright) 2008 American Cancer Society.