Purpose Both temozolomide (TMZ) and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors are active in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). This phase II, randomized, double-blind study evaluated whether addition of the PARP inhibitor veliparib to TMZ improves 4-month progression-free survival (PFS). Patients and Methods A total of 104 patients with recurrent SCLC were randomly assigned 1:1 to oral veliparib or placebo 40 mg twice daily, days 1 to 7, and oral TMZ 150 to 200 mg/m2/day, days 1 to 5, of a 28-day cycle until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or withdrawal of consent. Response was determined by imaging at weeks 4 and 8, and every 8 weeks thereafter. Improvement in PFS at 4 months was the primary end point. Secondary objectives included overall response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS), and safety and tolerability of veliparib with TMZ. Exploratory objectives included PARP-1 and SLFN11 immunohistochemical expression, MGMT promoter methylation, and circulating tumor cell quantification. Results No significant difference in 4-month PFS was noted between TMZ/veliparib (36%) and TMZ/placebo (27%; P = .19); median OS was also not improved significantly with TMZ/veliparib (8.2 months; 95% CI, 6.4 to 12.2 months; v 7.0 months; 95% CI, 5.3 to 9.5 months; P = .50). However, ORR was significantly higher in patients receiving TMZ/veliparib compared with TMZ/placebo (39% v 14%; P = .016). Grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia and neutropenia more commonly occurred with TMZ/veliparib: 50% versus 9% and 31% versus 7%, respectively. Significantly prolonged PFS (5.7 v 3.6 months; P = .009) and OS (12.2 v 7.5 months; P = .014) were observed in patients with SLFN11-positive tumors treated with TMZ/veliparib. Conclusion Four-month PFS and median OS did not differ between the two arms, whereas a significant improvement in ORR was observed with TMZ/veliparib. SLFN11 expression was associated with improved PFS and OS in patients receiving TMZ/veliparib, suggesting a promising biomarker of PARP-inhibitor sensitivity in SCLC.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01638546.