Purpose: Aurora A kinase (AAK) plays an integral role in mitotic entry, DNA damage checkpoint recovery, and centrosome and spindle maturation. Alisertib (MLN8237) is a potent and selective AAK inhibitor. In pediatric preclinical models, antitumor activity was observed in neuroblastoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and sarcoma xenografts. We conducted a phase 2 trial of alisertib in pediatric patients with refractory or recurrent solid tumors or acute leukemias (NCT01154816).
Patients and methods: Alisertib (80 mg/m2/dose) was administered orally, daily for 7 days every 21 days. Pharmacogenomic (PG) evaluation for polymorphisms in the AURK gene and drug metabolizing enzymes (UGT1A1*28), and plasma pharmacokinetic studies (PK) were performed. Using a 2-stage design, patients were enrolled to 12 disease strata (10 solid tumor and 2 acute leukemia). Response was assessed after cycle 1, then every other cycle.
Results: A total of 139 children and adolescents (median age, 10 years) were enrolled, 137 were evaluable for response. Five objective responses were observed (2 complete responses and 3 partial responses). The most frequent toxicity was myelosuppression. The median alisertib trough concentration on day 4 was 1.3 μmol/L, exceeding the 1 μmol/L target trough concentration in 67% of patients. No correlations between PG or PK and toxicity were observed.
Conclusions: Despite alisertib activity in pediatric xenograft models and cogent pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships in preclinical models and adults, the objective response rate in children and adolescents receiving single-agent alisertib was less than 5%.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.