Background: Activating enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) mutations or aberrations of the switch/sucrose non-fermentable (SWI/SNF) complex (eg, mutations or deletions of the subunits INI1 or SMARCA4) can lead to aberrant histone methylation, oncogenic transformation, and a proliferative dependency on EZH2 activity. In this first-in-human study, we aimed to investigate the safety, clinical activity, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of tazemetostat, a first-in-class selective inhibitor of EZH2.
Methods: We did an open-label, multicentre, dose-escalation, phase 1 study using a 3 + 3 design with planned cohort expansion at the two highest doses below the maximally tolerated dose. The study was done at two centres in France: Institut Gustave Roussy (Villejuif, Val de Marne) and Institut Bergonié (Bordeaux, Gironde). Eligible patients had relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma or an advanced solid tumour and were older than 18 years, with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, and adequate end-organ function. Tazemetostat was administered orally from 100 mg twice daily to 1600 mg twice daily in 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was to establish the maximum tolerated dose or recommended phase 2 dose of tazemetostat, as determined by dose-limiting toxicities, laboratory values, and other safety or pharmacokinetic measures in cycle one according to local investigator assessment. Safety was assessed in patients who received at least one dose of tazemetostat; antitumour activity was assessed in the intention-to-treat population. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01897571. The phase 1 part of the study is complete, and phase 2 is ongoing.
Findings: Between June 13, 2013, and Sept 21, 2016, 64 patients (21 with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and 43 with advanced solid tumours) received doses of tazemetostat. The most common treatment-related adverse events, regardless of attribution, were asthenia (21 [33%] of 64 treatment-related events), anaemia (nine [14%]), anorexia (four [6%]), muscle spasms (nine [14%]), nausea (13 [20%]), and vomiting (six [9%]), usually grade 1 or 2 in severity. A single dose-limiting toxicity of grade 4 thrombocytopenia was identified at the highest dose of 1600 mg twice daily. No treatment-related deaths occurred; seven (11%) patients had non-treatment-related deaths (one at 200 mg twice daily, four at 400 mg twice daily, and two at 1600 mg twice daily). The recommended phase 2 dose was determined to be 800 mg twice daily. Durable objective responses, including complete responses, were observed in eight (38%) of 21 patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and two (5%) of 43 patients with solid tumours.
Interpretation: Tazemetostat showed a favourable safety profile and antitumour activity in patients with refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and advanced solid tumours, including epithelioid sarcoma. Further clinical investigation of tazemetostat monotherapy is ongoing in phase 2 studies in adults and a phase 1 study for children, which are currently enrolling patients who have B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and INI1-negative or SMARCA4-negative tumours.
Funding: Epizyme and Eisai.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.