Purpose: SEQUOIA compared efficacy and safety of adding pegilodecakin (PEG), a pegylated recombinant human interleukin (IL)-10, with folinic acid, fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) in patients following progression on first-line gemcitabine-containing therapy with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).
Patients and methods: SEQUOIA, a randomized, global phase III study, compared FOLFOX with PEG + FOLFOX as second line in gemcitabine-refractory PDAC. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 (PEG + FOLFOX:FOLFOX) and stratified by prior gemcitabine and region. Eligible patients had only one prior gemcitabine-containing treatment. Primary end point was overall survival (OS). Secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS), response evaluation per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumor (RECIST) 1.1, and safety. Exploratory analyses included biomarkers related to immune activation.
Results: Between March 1, 2017, and September 9, 2019, 567 patients were randomly assigned PEG + FOLFOX (n = 283) or FOLFOX (n = 284). Most (94.7%) patients received prior gemcitabine plus nab paclitaxel. OS was similar comparing PEG + FOLFOX versus FOLFOX (median: 5.8 v 6.3 months; hazard ratio = 1.045; 95% CI, 0.863 to 1.265). Also, PFS (median 2.1 v 2.1 months; hazard ratio = 0.981; 95% CI, 0.808 to 1.190) and objective response rate (4.6% v 5.6%) were similar between the treatment arms. Most common (≥ 35%) treatment-emergent adverse events in PEG + FOLFOX versus FOLFOX were thrombocytopenia (55% v 20%), anemia (40% v 16%), fatigue (61% v 45%), neutropenia (39% v 28%), abdominal pain (37% v 29%), nausea (45% v 41%), neuropathy (37% v 38%), and decreased appetite (35% v 31%). Exploratory analyses revealed increases in total IL-18, interferon (IFN)-γ, and granzyme B and decreases in transforming growth factor (TGF)-β with the addition of PEG.
Conclusion: PEG added to FOLFOX did not improve efficacy in advanced gemcitabine-refractory PDAC. Safety findings were consistent as previously observed from PEG with chemotherapy; toxicity was manageable and tolerable. Exploratory pharmacodynamic results were consistent with immunostimulatory signals of the IL-10R pathway.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02923921.