Exploratory study of an anti-PD-L1/TGF-β antibody, TQB2858, in patients with refractory or recurrent osteosarcoma and alveolar soft part sarcoma: a report from Chinese sarcoma study group (TQB2858-Ib-02)

BMC Cancer. 2023 Sep 15;23(1):868. doi: 10.1186/s12885-023-11390-4.


Background: Novel and effective immunotherapies are required for refractory or recurrent sarcomas. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) is a diverse regulatory and fibrogenic protein expressed in multiple sarcoma tumors that promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and excessive deposition of extracellular matrix. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of the anti-PD-L1/TGF-β antibody TQB2858 in patients with refractory osteosarcoma and alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS).

Methods: This single-arm phase 1b exploratory study included patients with refractory osteosarcoma or ASPS who had previously undergone at least two lines of systemic therapy. Patients were administered 1200 mg of TQB2858 once every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR), with null and alternative hypotheses of ORR ≤5% and ≥20%, respectively. Exploratory biomarker analyses using immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining (for PD-L1 and TGF-β) were performed on pre-treatment tumor samples.

Results: Eleven eligible patients were included in this study. TQB2858 did not demonstrate evidence of efficacy as 0/5 osteosarcomas had any objective response, while 2/6 ASPS showed a partial response. The median progression-free survivals were 1.51 (1.38, Not Evaluable) and 2.86 (1.38, Not Evaluable) months for the osteosarcoma and ASPS groups, respectively. None of the administered cycles met the criteria for unacceptable toxicity. Other Grade 3 toxicities included abnormal liver function and elevation of γ-glutamyl transferase. IHC analysis revealed that functional enrichment in the TGF-β pathway or PD-L1 was not associated with treatment outcomes.

Conclusions: The combination of PD-L1 and TQB2858 did not significantly improve the ORR in patients with recurrent osteosarcoma. However, it improved immunogenic responses in ASPS, even after progression upon anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy, with an acceptable safety profile. IHC profiling with pathway enrichment analysis may not have any predictive value for survival outcomes.

Trial registration: Prospectively registered in the Ethical Review Committee of Peking University People's Hospital. The trial registration number is 2021PHA105-001 and 2021PHA140-001 and the registration date was March 2, 2022.

Clinicaltrials: gov Identifier CTR20213001 and CTR20220390.

Keywords: Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma (ASPS); Osteosarcoma; PD-L1/TGF-β; Tumor immune microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological* / therapeutic use
  • Asian People
  • B7-H1 Antigen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Bone Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • East Asian People
  • Humans
  • Osteosarcoma* / drug therapy
  • Sarcoma, Alveolar Soft Part* / drug therapy
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • Antibodies