Background: BI 2536, a novel Polo-like kinase 1 inhibitor, was assessed in patients with unresectable advanced exocrine adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.
Methods: The study employed a two-stage design. Randomised first-line patients received BI 2536 200 mg on day 1 (n=43) or 60 mg on days 1-3 (n=43) every 21 days. Recruitment of second-line patients was planned for a second stage dependent on an interim analysis demonstrating ≥ 2 responses in the first 18 evaluable patients following 12 weeks of treatment and/or tumour control ≥ 12 weeks in 5 patients per schedule. Primary end point was objective response rate (ORR).
Results: By independent review, ORR was 2.3% (all partial) and 24.4% had stable disease as confirmed best response. The second stage was not initiated. Median overall and progression-free survivals were 149 (95% confidence interval (CI), 91-307) and 46 days (95% CI, 44-56). Most common drug-related adverse events were neutropenia (37.2%), leukopenia (29.1%), fatigue (29.1%) and nausea (22.1%); most common grade 3/4-related events were neutropenia (36.0%), leukopenia (27.9%) and thrombocytopenia (8.1%).
Conclusion: Given the low ORR and poor survival, further development of BI 2536 monotherapy is not warranted in this population.