A multi-center phase II evaluation of the small molecule survivin suppressor YM155 in patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma

Invest New Drugs. 2011 Feb;29(1):161-6. doi: 10.1007/s10637-009-9333-6. Epub 2009 Oct 15.


Melanoma continues to be a major health problem with no effective therapy. Melanocytes, both benign and malignant, express many anti-apoptotic factors. Survivin is a member of the family of inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAP) and is preferentially expressed in tumor cells, including melanoma. YM155 is a small molecule suppressant of survivin that has been shown in preclinical cell lines, xenograft models and phase I studies to have anti-tumor activity.

Methods: This was an open-label, multi-center, study of YM155 monotherapy in subjects with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma. Thirty-four chemotherapy naïve subjects were treated with YM155 at a dose of 4.8 mg/m(2)/day administered by continuous infusion for 168-hours (7 days) followed by a 14-day rest period, for up to 6 cycles or until disease progression.

Results: One subject had a partial response to treatment seen at cycle two and lasting through cycle eight. Median progression-free survival was 1.3 months (95% CI; 1.3-2.7). Median overall survival was 9.9 months (95% CI; 7.0-14.5). Overall, YM155 was well tolerated with the most common (>20%) adverse events reported as fatigue, nausea, pyrexia, headache, arthralgia and back pain. Only four subjects required dose reductions.

Conclusions: YM155 was well tolerated in subjects with advanced melanoma; however, the pre-specified primary end-point for efficacy which required two responders in 29 evaluable subjects was not achieved.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / administration & dosage
  • Imidazoles / adverse effects
  • Imidazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Male
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / surgery*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Naphthoquinones / administration & dosage
  • Naphthoquinones / adverse effects
  • Naphthoquinones / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Survivin
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BIRC5 protein, human
  • Imidazoles
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Naphthoquinones
  • Survivin
  • YM 155