Background Eftilagimod alpha (efti; IMP321) is a soluble LAG-3 protein (LAG-3Ig) that binds to a subset of MHC class II molecules and mediates activation of antigen-presenting cells followed by CD8 T-cells. Weekly paclitaxel is a standard of care chemo-regimen after failure of endocrine-based therapy for metastatic breast carcinoma (MBC). AIPAC (Active Immunotherapy PAClitaxel) investigated the addition of efti to weekly paclitaxel in these patients (pts).
Methods This placebo-controlled, double-blinded, 1:1 randomized phase IIb trial enrolled pts with measurable disease, HR+ HER2- MBC after endocrine-based therapy. Pts received paclitaxel (80 mg/m² IV on D1, D8, D15) + efti (30 mg) or placebo on D2, D16 (every 2 weeks) for up to 24 weeks following efti/placebo for up to 52 weeks. The primary endpoint (EP) was progression-free survival (RECIST1.1) by BICR. Secondary EPs included overall survival (OS), PFS (local read), overall response rate (ORR), biomarker, quality of life. Exploratory EPs included univariate/multivariate analyses.
Results 227 pts were randomized (Jan2017-Jul2019). All except 1 received ≥1 treatment and were included in the full analysis set [efti (n=114); placebo (n=112)]. Data cut-off was 14May2021 (min. follow-up= 22 months). Median age was 60 yrs with ECOG 0 in 61.5%. 91.6% had visceral disease. Pts were mostly endocrine resistant (84%) and partially pre-treated with CDK4/6 inhibitors (44.2%). Post-study treatment was similar. Median OS was 20.4 (95% CI: 14.3-25.1) months in the efti group vs. 17.5 (95% CI: 12.9-21.9) in the placebo group. HR was 0.88 (95%CI: 0.64-1.19; p=0.197). In predefined univariate analyses, younger pts, low baseline monocytes and luminal B showed significant/clinically meaningful improvement in OS (table 1).
Efti increased PBMC/T cell (CD4/CD8) count vs. placebo, correlating with improved OS (Spearman Rho=0.6, p=0.02 for CD8 T cells). In a whole population multivariate cox regression model, increasing BMI and prior treatment with CDK4/6 were independent significant poor prognostic markers for PFS and OS.
TEAEs leading to discontinuation were similar at 5.3%(efti) & 6.3%(placebo). PFS (Primary EP) and safety were reported at SABCS 2020 (Abstract#132).
Conclusions Efti added to paclitaxel led to a non-significant 2.9 months median OS increase in HR+ HER2- MBC pts after endocrine-based therapy. Effects were significant in pts <65yrs, with low monocytes and more aggressive disease (luminal B). Efti increased circulating CD4/CD8 T cells, which significantly correlated to improved OS. Weekly paclitaxel + efti should be further investigated in MBC.
Trial Registration The trial identifiers are IMP321-P011 (code for sponsor), 2015-002541-63 (EudraCT) and NCT02614833 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
Ethics Approval The study was approved by relevant ethic committees and institutional review boards.
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