Background: Trilaciclib is an intravenous cell-cycle inhibitor that transiently maintains immune cells and haemopoietic stem and progenitor cells in G1 arrest. By protecting the immune cells and bone marrow from chemotherapy-induced damage, trilaciclib has the potential to optimise antitumour activity while minimising myelotoxicity. We report safety and activity data for trilaciclib plus gemcitabine and carboplatin chemotherapy in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.
Methods: In this randomised, open-label, multicentre, phase 2 study, adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with evaluable, biopsy-confirmed, locally recurrent or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer who had no more than two previous lines of chemotherapy were recruited from 26 sites in the USA, three in Serbia, two in North Macedonia, one in Croatia, and one in Bulgaria; sites were academic and community hospitals. Availability of diagnostic samples of tumour tissue confirming triple-negative breast cancer was a prerequisite for enrolment. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) by an interactive web-response system, stratified by number of previous lines of systemic therapy and the presence of liver metastases, to receive intravenous gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 and intravenous carboplatin (area under the concentration-time curve 2 μg × h/mL) on days 1 and 8 (group 1), gemcitabine and carboplatin plus intravenous trilaciclib 240 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 (group 2), or gemcitabine and carboplatin on days 2 and 9 plus trilaciclib on days 1, 2, 8, and 9 (group 3) of 21-day cycles. Patients continued treatment until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, withdrawal of consent, or discontinuation by the investigator. The primary objective was to assess the safety and tolerability of combining trilaciclib with gemcitabine and carboplatin chemotherapy. The primary endpoints were duration of severe neutropenia during cycle 1 and the occurrence of severe neutropenia during the treatment period. Overall survival was included as a key secondary endpoint. Analyses were in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of study treatment. This study is registered with EudraCT, 2016-004466-26, and ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02978716, and is ongoing but closed to accrual.
Findings: Between Feb 7, 2017, and May 15, 2018, 142 patients were assessed for eligibility and 102 were randomly assigned to group 1 (n=34), group 2 (n=33), or group 3 (n=35). Of all patients, 38 (37%) had received one or two lines of previous chemotherapy in the metastatic setting. Median follow-up was 8·4 months (IQR 3·8-13·6) for group 1, 12·7 months (5·5-17·4) for group 2, and 12·9 months (6·7-16·8) for group 3. Data cutoff for myelosuppression endpoints was July 30, 2018, and for antitumour activity endpoints was May 17, 2019. During cycle 1, mean duration of severe neutropenia was 0·8 day (SD 2·4) in group 1, 1·5 days (3·5) in group 2, and 1·0 day (2·6) in group 3 (group 3 vs group 1 one-sided adjusted p=0·70). Severe neutropenia occurred in nine (26%) of 34 patients in group 1, 12 (36%) of 33 patients in group 2, and eight (23%) of 35 patients in group 3 (p=0·70). Overall survival was 12·6 months (IQR 5·8-15·6) in group 1, 20·1 months (9·4-not reached) in group 2, and 17·8 months (8·8-not reached) in group 3 (group 3 vs group 1 two-sided p=0·0023). The most common treatment-emergent adverse events were anaemia (22 [73%] of 34), neutropenia (21 [70%]), and thrombocytopenia (18 [60%]) in group 1; neutropenia (27 [82%] of 33), thrombocytopenia (18 [55%]) and anaemia (17 [52%]) in group 2; and neutropenia (23 [66%] of 35), thrombocytopenia (22 [63%]), and nausea (17 [49%]) in group 3. There were no treatment-related deaths.
Interpretation: No significant differences were observed in myelosuppression endpoints with trilaciclib plus gemcitabine and carboplatin in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer; however, the regimen was generally well tolerated and overall survival results were encouraging. Further studies of trilaciclib in this setting are warranted.
Funding: G1 Therapeutics.
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