A Phase 1b Trial of Prexasertib in Combination with Standard-of-Care Agents in Advanced or Metastatic Cancer

Target Oncol. 2021 Sep;16(5):569-589. doi: 10.1007/s11523-021-00835-0. Epub 2021 Sep 24.


Background: The checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) inhibitor prexasertib exhibited modest monotherapy antitumor activity in prior trials, suggesting that combination with chemotherapy or other targeted agents may be needed to maximize efficacy.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the recommended phase II dose and schedule of prexasertib in combination with either cisplatin, cetuximab, pemetrexed, or 5-fluorouracil in patients with advanced and/or metastatic cancer, and to summarize preliminary antitumor activity of these combinations.

Patients and methods: This phase Ib, nonrandomized, open-label study comprised dose-escalation phase(s) with multiple sub-arms evaluating different prexasertib-drug combinations: Part A, prexasertib + cisplatin (n = 63); Part B, prexasertib + cetuximab (n = 41); Part C, prexasertib + pemetrexed (n = 3); Part D, prexasertib + 5-fluorouracil (n =8). Alternate dose schedules/regimens intended to mitigate toxicity and maximize dose exposure and efficacy were also explored in sub-parts.

Results: In Part A, the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of prexasertib in combination with cisplatin (75 mg/m2) was declared at 80 mg/m2, with cisplatin administered on Day 1 and prexasertib on Day 2 of a 21-day cycle. The overall objective response rate (ORR) in Part A was 12.7%, and 28 of 55 evaluable patients (50.9%) had a decrease in target lesions from baseline. The most frequent treatment-related adverse events (AEs) in Part A were hematologic, with the most common being white blood cell count decreased/neutrophil count decreased, experienced by 73.0% (any grade) and 66.7% (grade 3 or higher) of patients. In Part B, an MTD of 70 mg/m2 was established for prexasertib administered in combination with cetuximab (500 mg /m2), both administered on Day 1 of a 14-day cycle. The overall ORR in Part B was 4.9%, and 7 of 31 evaluable patients (22.6%) had decreased target lesions compared with baseline. White blood cell count decreased/neutrophil count decreased was also the most common treatment-related AE (56.1% any grade; 53.7% grade 3 or higher). In Parts A and B, hematologic toxicities, even with the addition of prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, resulted in frequent dose adjustments (> 60% of patients). In Part C, evaluation of prexasertib + pemetrexed was halted due to dose-limiting toxicities in two of the first three patients; MTD was not established. In Part D, the MTD of prexasertib in combination with 5-fluorouracil (label dose) was declared at 40 mg /m2, both administered on Day 1 of a 14-day cycle. In Part D, overall ORR was 12.5%.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the proof-of-concept that prexasertib can be combined with cisplatin, cetuximab, and 5-fluorouracil. Schedule was a key determinant of the tolerability and feasibility of combining prexasertib with these standard-of-care agents. Reversible hematologic toxicity was the most frequent AE and was dose-limiting. Insights gleaned from this study will inform future combination strategies for the development of prexasertib and next-generation CHK1 inhibitors. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov identifier: NCT02124148 (date of registration 28 April 2014).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02124148