Background Targeting transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is reported to augment the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) through either enhanced anti-tumor immunity or the correction of tumor microenvironment (TME). Therefore, the combination of vactosertib, a highly selective TGF-β RI kinase inhibitor, and durvalumab is anticipated to improve anti-tumor activity of the ICI. A phase 1b/2a study was conducted to evaluate the combination of vactosertib and durvalumab in patients with advanced NSCLC who progressed after platinum-based chemotherapy.
Methods Patients were treated with vactosertib at a dose of 200 mg twice daily (five days on and two days off) and durvalumab at a dose of 1500 mg every four weeks. Eligible patients were ≥19 years old with good performance status (ECOG 0–1) and have no prior exposure to immune checkpoint inhibitors or other TGF- β R1 kinase inhibitors. The objectives of this analysis were to evaluate the safety, antitumor activity including objective response rate (ORR), duration of response (DOR), and time to response (TTR) as well as circulating pharmacodynamic biomarkers related to TGF-β signaling. Response was assessed per RECIST (v1.1).
Results By August 4 2020, twenty-six PD-L1 positive (SP263 assay) patients were analyzed. Median age was 61.5 years (range 48–83), 69.2% were male, median number of previous lines of chemotherapy was 1 (range 1–4), and all patients were PD-L1 positive (15 patients with PD-L1≥25% and 11 patients with PD-L1 1–24%). The most frequently reported treatment-related adverse events (TRAE) were itching (38.5%) and skin rash (34.6%), but no Gr≥3 itching and rash were observed. Each case of the following was reported as Grade 3 TRAEs: adrenal insufficiency, anemia, and pneumonitis; Grade 4 TRAE, CPK increase, was observed in one patient. Objective response rate was 30.8% and 40.0% in patients with PD-L1≥1% and ≥25% respectively. Circulating PAI-1 and CTGF evaluated in 15 patients decreased significantly on Cycle 1 day 5. Ongoing biomarker results will be presented.
Conclusions The combination of vactosertib and durvalumab has demonstrated a manageable safety profile and encouraging anti-tumor activity as a potential therapeutic strategy in patients with advanced NSCLC. The efficacy outcomes of this combination in a larger number of patients with advanced NSCLC will be followed.
Trial Registration NCT03732274
Ethics Approval The study was approved by Ethics Board of Severance Hospital (4-2018-0892), National Cancer Center (NCC2019-0057), St. Vincent’s Hospital (VC19MDDF0205), and Chungbuk National University Hospital (2019-08-015).
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