Safety and clinical activity of intratumoral MEDI9197 alone and in combination with durvalumab and/or palliative radiation therapy in patients with advanced solid tumors

J Immunother Cancer. 2020 Oct;8(2):e001095. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2020-001095.


Background: MEDI9197 is an intratumorally administered toll-like receptor 7 and 8 agonist. In mice, MEDI9197 modulated antitumor immune responses, inhibited tumor growth and increased survival. This first-time-in-human, phase 1 study evaluated MEDI9197 with or without the programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) inhibitor durvalumab and/or palliative radiation therapy (RT) for advanced solid tumors.

Patients and methods: Eligible patients had at least one cutaneous, subcutaneous, or deep-seated lesion suitable for intratumoral (IT) injection. Dose escalation used a standard 3+3 design. Patients received IT MEDI9197 0.005-0.055 mg with or without RT (part 1), or IT MEDI9197 0.005 or 0.012 mg plus durvalumab 1500 mg intravenous with or without RT (part 3), in 4-week cycles. Primary endpoints were safety and tolerability. Secondary endpoints included pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and objective response based on Response Evaluation Criteria for Solid Tumors version 1.1. Exploratory endpoints included tumor and peripheral biomarkers that correlate with biological activity or predict response.

Results: From November 2015 to March 2018, part 1 enrolled 35 patients and part 3 enrolled 17 patients; five in part 1 and 2 in part 3 received RT. The maximum tolerated dose of MEDI9197 monotherapy was 0.037 mg, with dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) of cytokine release syndrome in two patients (one grade 3, one grade 4) and 0.012 mg in combination with durvalumab 1500 mg with DLT of MEDI9197-related hemorrhagic shock in one patient (grade 5) following liver metastasis rupture after two cycles of MEDI9197. Across parts 1 and 3, the most frequent MEDI9197-related adverse events (AEs) of any grade were fever (56%), fatigue (31%), and nausea (21%). The most frequent MEDI9197-related grade ≥3 events were decreased lymphocytes (15%), neutrophils (10%), and white cell counts (10%). MEDI9197 increased tumoral CD8+ and PD-L1+ cells, inducing type 1 and 2 interferons and Th1 response. There were no objective clinical responses; 10 patients in part 1 and 3 patients in part 3 had stable disease ≥8 weeks.

Conclusion: IT MEDI9197 was feasible for subcutaneous/cutaneous lesions but AEs precluded its use in deep-seated lesions. Although no patients responded, MEDI9197 induced systemic and intratumoral immune activation, indicating potential value in combination regimens in other patient populations.

Trial registration number: NCT02556463.

Keywords: CD8-positive t-lymphocytes; Th1-Th2 balance; combination; drug therapy; immunotherapy; radioimmunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring / pharmacology
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Palliative Care
  • Stearic Acids / pharmacology
  • Stearic Acids / therapeutic use*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring
  • Stearic Acids
  • MEDI9197
  • durvalumab

Associated data