Purpose: This phase II study evaluated efficacy and safety of single-agent axitinib, an oral, potent, selective inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR) -1, -2, and -3, in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Patients and methods: This was an open-label, single-arm, multicenter, phase II study with a Simon two-stage minimax design. Patients received a starting dose of axitinib 5 mg orally BID. The primary end point was Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) -defined objective response rate. Secondary end points included safety and tolerability, overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS).
Results: Thirty-two patients were enrolled, with a median age of 66.5 years. The majority of patients (75%) had adenocarcinoma. Nine patients (28%) had received no prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease, and 23 (72%) had received > or = one regimen. Three patients (9%) had a RECIST investigator-assessed, confirmed partial response (PR); disease control rate (PR + stable disease) was 41%. Median PFS was 4.9 months overall (95% CI, 3.6 to 7.0 months). Median OS was 14.8 months (95% CI, 10.7 months to not estimable) overall and 14.8 months (95% CI, 12.5 months to not estimable) in patients receiving first-line axitinib. One-year survival rates for patients with or without prior therapy for metastatic disease were 57% and 78%, respectively. Grade 3 treatment-related adverse events in > or = 5% of patients comprised fatigue (22%), hypertension (9%), and hyponatremia (9%).
Conclusion: Axitinib demonstrated single-agent activity in patients with advanced NSCLC. Therapy was well tolerated with manageable toxicities. Further investigation of this VEGFR inhibitor in NSCLC is of interest.