Exploring Predictors of Response to Dacomitinib in EGFR-Amplified Recurrent Glioblastoma

JCO Precis Oncol. 2020 Jun 8;4:PO.19.00295. doi: 10.1200/PO.19.00295. eCollection 2020.


Purpose: Despite the high frequency of EGFR genetic alterations in glioblastoma (GBM), EGFR-targeted therapies have not had success in this disease. To improve the likelihood of efficacy, we targeted adult patients with recurrent GBM enriched for EGFR gene amplification, which occurs in approximately half of GBM, with dacomitinib, a second-generation, irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor that penetrates the blood-brain barrier, in a multicenter phase II trial.

Patients and methods: We retrospectively explored whether previously described EGFR extracellular domain (ECD)-sensitizing mutations in the context of EGFR gene amplification could predict response to dacomitinib, and in a predefined subset of patients, we measured post-treatment intratumoral dacomitinib levels to verify tumor penetration.

Results: We found that dacomitinib effectively penetrates contrast-enhancing GBM tumors. Among all 56 treated patients, 8 (14.3%) had a clinical benefit as defined by a duration of treatment of at least 6 months, of whom 5 (8.9%) remained progression free for at least 1 year. Presence of EGFRvIII or EGFR ECD missense mutation was not associated with clinical benefit. We evaluated the pretreatment transcriptome in circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) by RNA sequencing in a subset of patients and identified a signature that distinguished patients who had durable benefit versus those with rapid progression.

Conclusion: While dacomitinib was not effective in most patients with EGFR-amplified GBM, a subset experienced a durable, clinically meaningful benefit. Moreover, EGFRvIII and EGFR ECD mutation status in archival tumors did not predict clinical benefit. RNA signatures in circulating EVs may warrant investigation as biomarkers of dacomitinib efficacy in GBM.