Background: Aurora kinase A (AURKA) is commonly overexpressed in sarcoma. The inhibition of AURKA by shRNA or by a specific AURKA inhibitor blocks in vitro proliferation of multiple sarcoma subtypes. MLN8237 (alisertib) is a novel oral adenosine triphosphate-competitive AURKA inhibitor.
Patients and methods: This Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program-sponsored phase II study of alisertib was conducted through the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (A091102). Patients were enrolled into histology-defined cohorts: (i) liposarcoma, (ii) leiomyosarcoma, (iii) undifferentiated sarcoma, (iv) malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, or (v) other. Treatment was alisertib 50 mg PO b.i.d. d1-d7 every 21 days. The primary end point was response rate; progression-free survival (PFS) was secondary. One response in the first 9 patients expanded enrollment in a cohort to 24 using a Simon two-stage design.
Results: Seventy-two patients were enrolled at 24 sites [12 LPS, 10 LMS, 11 US, 10 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST), 29 Other]. The median age was 55 years; 54% were male; 58%/38%/4% were ECOG PS 0/1/2. One PR expanded enrollment to the second stage in the other sarcoma cohort. The histology-specific cohorts ceased at the first stage. There were two confirmed PRs in the other cohort (both angiosarcoma) and one unconfirmed PR in dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma. Twelve-week PFS was 73% (LPS), 44% (LMS), 36% (US), 60% (MPNST), and 38% (Other). Grade 3-4 adverse events: oral mucositis (12%), anemia (14%), platelet count decreased (14%), leukopenia (22%), and neutropenia (42%).
Conclusions: Alisertib was well tolerated. Occasional responses, yet prolonged stable disease, were observed. Although failing to meet the primary RR end point, PFS was promising.
Trial registration id: NCT01653028.
Keywords: aurora kinase inhibitors; bone sarcoma; phase II clinical trials; soft tissue sarcoma.
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