PURPOSE - CUDC-101 is a small molecule that simultaneously inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), human growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), and histone deacetylase (HDAC) with preclinical activity in head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). The primary objective of this investigation is to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of CUDC-101 with cisplatin-radiotherapy in the treatment of HNSCC.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - CUDC-101 monotherapy was administered intravenously three times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for a one-week run-in, then continued with concurrent cisplatin (100 mg/m(2) every 3 weeks) and external beam radiation (70 Gy to gross disease) over 7 weeks.
RESULTS - Twelve patients with intermediate or high-risk HNSCC enrolled. Eleven were p16INKa (p16)-negative. The MTD of CUDC-101-based combination therapy was established at 275 mg/m(2)/dose. Five patients discontinued CUDC-101 due to an adverse event (AE); only one was considered a dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), at the MTD. Pharmacokinetic evaluation suggested low accumulation with this dosing regimen. HDAC inhibition was demonstrated by pharmacodynamic analyses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), tumor biopsies, and paired skin biopsies. Paired tumor biopsies demonstrated a trend of EGFR inhibition. At 1.5 years of median follow-up, there has been one recurrence and two patient deaths (neither attributed to CUDC-101). The remaining nine patients are free of progression.
CONCLUSIONS - CUDC-101, cisplatin, and radiation were feasible in intermediate-/high-risk patients with HNSCC, with no unexpected patterns of AE. Although the MTD was identified, a high rate of DLT-independent discontinuation of CUDC-101 suggests a need for alternate schedules or routes of administration.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.