Background: This expansion cohort of a multicenter, dose-escalation, phase I study (NCT00557856) evaluated safety, tolerability, antitumor activity, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic effects of the anti-activin receptor-like kinase-1 (ALK-1) monoclonal antibody PF-03446962 in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Patients and methods: Patients with HCC and disease progression after prior antiangiogenic therapy or intolerance to treatment received PF-03446962 7 mg/kg intravenously biweekly, as recommended in the dose-escalation part of the study.
Results: Twenty-four patients received PF-03446962. The most frequent treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were thrombocytopenia (33.3%), asthenia (29.2), and chills (16.7%). Two patients experienced treatment-related telangiectasia, suggesting an in vivo knockout of ALK-1 function through ALK-1 pathway inhibition. Overall, treatment-related grade 3-4 AEs were reported in eight patients (33.3%). Treatment-related grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia was noted in four patients. No complete or partial responses were reported. Twelve (50%) patients achieved stable disease, which lasted ≥12 weeks in seven (29.2%) patients. The median time to progression was 3 months. Biomarker analyses showed higher mean tumor expression of c-tumor mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor and higher mean serum levels of bone morphogenetic protein-9 in patients with disease control (DC) for ≥12 weeks versus patients with disease progression. Conversely, lower mean serum transforming growth factor-β and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 levels were detected in patients with DC versus patients with progression.
Conclusions: The observed safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic profile, and clinical activity support further evaluation of PF-03446962 in patients with HCC and other solid malignancies, as single agent or in combination with other antiangiogenic, chemotherapeutic, or immunotherapeutic agents.
Trial registration number: NCT00557856.
Keywords: ALK-1; PF-03446962; TGF-β receptor; activin-receptor-like kinase-1; angiogenesis; hepatocellular carcinoma.
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