Purpose: p38 MAPK regulates the production of cytokines in the tumor microenvironment and enables cancer cells to survive despite oncogenic stress, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies. Ralimetinib (LY2228820 dimesylate) is a selective small-molecule inhibitor of p38 MAPK. This phase I study aimed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of ralimetinib, as a single agent and in combination with tamoxifen, when administered orally to patients with advanced cancer.
Experimental design: The study design consisted of a dose-escalation phase performed in a 3+3 design (Part A; n = 54), two dose-confirmation phases [Part B at 420 mg (n = 18) and Part C at 300 mg (n = 8)], and a tumor-specific expansion phase in combination with tamoxifen for women with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer refractory to aromatase inhibitors (Part D; n = 9). Ralimetinib was administered orally every 12 hours on days 1 to 14 of a 28-day cycle.
Results: Eighty-nine patients received ralimetinib at 11 dose levels (10, 20, 40, 65, 90, 120, 160, 200, 300, 420, and 560 mg). Plasma exposure of ralimetinib (Cmax and AUC) increased in a dose-dependent manner. After a single dose, ralimetinib inhibited p38 MAPK-induced phosphorylation of MAPKAP-K2 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The most common adverse events, possibly drug-related, included rash, fatigue, nausea, constipation, pruritus, and vomiting. The recommended phase II dose was 300 mg every 12 hours as monotherapy or in combination with tamoxifen. Although no patients achieved a complete response or partial response,19 patients (21.3%) achieved stable disease with a median duration of 3.7 months, with 9 of these patients on study for ≥ 6 cycles.
Conclusions: Ralimetinib demonstrated acceptable safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics for patients with advanced cancer.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.