Safety and antitumour activity of cadonilimab, an anti-PD-1/CTLA-4 bispecific antibody, for patients with advanced solid tumours (COMPASSION-03): a multicentre, open-label, phase 1b/2 trial

Lancet Oncol. 2023 Oct;24(10):1134-1146. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(23)00411-4.


Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting PD-1 or CTLA-4 individually have shown substantial clinical benefits in the treatment of malignancies. We aimed to assess the safety and antitumour activity of cadonilimab monotherapy, a bispecific PD-1/CTLA-4 antibody, in patients with advanced solid tumours.

Methods: This multicentre, open-label, phase 1b/2 trial was conducted across 30 hospitals in China. Patients aged 18 years or older with histologically or cytologically confirmed, unresectable advanced solid tumours, unsuccessful completion of at least one previous systemic therapy, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1 were eligible for inclusion. Patients who had previously received anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, or anti-CTLA-4 treatment were not eligible for inclusion. In the dose escalation phase of phase 1b, patients received intravenous cadonilimab at 6 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks. In the dose expansion phase of phase 1b, cadonilimab at 6 mg/kg and a fixed dose of 450 mg were given intravenously every 2 weeks. In phase 2, cadonilimab at 6 mg/kg was administered intravenously every 2 weeks in three cohorts: patients with cervical cancer, oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The primary endpoints were the safety of cadonilimab in phase 1b and objective response rate in phase 2, based on the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), version 1.1. The safety analysis was done in all patients who received at least one dose of cadonilimab. Antitumour activity was assessed in the full analysis set for the cervical cancer cohort, and in all patients with measurable disease at baseline and who received at least one dose of cadonilimab in the oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma cohorts. The study is registered on, NCT03852251, and closed to new participants; follow-up has been completed.

Findings: Between Jan 18, 2019, and Jan 8, 2021, 240 patients (83 [43 male and 40 female] in phase 1b and 157 in phase 2) were enrolled. Phase 2 enrolled 111 female patients with cervical cancer, 22 patients with oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (15 male and seven female), and 24 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (17 male and seven female). During dose escalation, no dose-limiting toxicities occurred. Grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 67 (28%) of 240 patients; the most frequent grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events were anaemia (seven [3%]), increased lipase (four [2%]), decreased bodyweight (three [1%]), decreased appetite (four [2%]), decreased neutrophil count (three [1%]), and infusion-related reaction (two [1%]). 17 (7%) patients discontinued treatment due to treatment-related adverse events. 54 (23%) of 240 patients reported serious treatment-related adverse events, including five patients who died (one due to myocardial infarction; cause unknown for four). In phase 2, in the cervical cancer cohort, with a median follow-up of 14·6 months (IQR 13·1-17·5), the objective response rate was 32·3% (32 of 99; 95% CI 23·3-42·5). In the oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma cohort, with a median follow-up of 17·9 months (IQR 4·0-15·1), the objective response rate was 18·2% (four of 22; 95% CI 5·2-40·3). In the hepatocellular carcinoma cohort, with a median follow-up of 19·6 months (IQR 8·7-19·8), the objective response rate was 16·7% (four of 24; 95% CI 4·7-37·4).

Interpretation: Cadonilimab showed an encouraging tumour response rate, with a manageable safety profile, suggesting the potential of cadonilimab for the treatment of advanced solid tumours.

Funding: Akeso Biopharma.

Translation: For the Chinese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological* / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / drug therapy
  • Empathy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / chemically induced
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma* / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / drug therapy


  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological