CHICAGO – A combination of the investigational agent PLX9486 with another novel tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) showed some efficacy against a range of primary and secondary KIT mutations in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), the results of a phase 1 dose escalation study have suggested.
Among 39 patients with GIST who had progressed on imatinib and other TKIs, the rates of clinical benefit at 16 weeks were 64% for 11 patients treated with PLX8486 monotherapy at a dose of 1,000 mg daily and 67% for 9 patients treated with PLX9486 and the investigational TKI pexidartinib.
One patient in the 1,000 mg monotherapy group had a partial response on interim analysis. The median progression-free survival in this dose group was 6 months, which was “significantly better than at lower doses,” reported Andrew J. Wagner, MD, PhD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and his colleagues.
“The combination of PLX9486 with either pexidartinib or sunitinib is generally well tolerated and toxicities are typically grade 1 or 2 in nature and reversible,” they wrote in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
PLX9486 is an inhibitor of KIT primary mutations in exons 9 and 11 and secondary resistance mutations in exons 17 and 18. Compared with other KIT-targeted TKIs, PLX9486 has complementary selectivity for mutant forms of KIT with a greater than 150-fold selectivity for mutant versus wild-type KIT, the investigators explained.
“Combinations of PLX9486 with either pexidartinib (PLX3397) or sunitinib potentially inhibit and address all common primary and secondary KIT mutations,” they wrote.
The investigators conducted a phase 1, open-label, dose-escalation study with two parts. The first part was designed to study the safety and pharmacokinetics of single-agent PLX9486 and established a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) for phase 2 studies. The second part was designed to study the drug as a single agent at the recommended phase 2 dose in GIST and other solid tumors with KIT mutations and also in combination with either pexidartinib or sunitinib in patients with GIST.
They found that single-agent PLX9486 was well tolerated at all doses tested (250, 300, 350, 500, and 1,000 mg daily) and that it selectively inhibited a spectrum of KIT mutations, “including difficult to treat exon 17/18 activation loop variants.”
The combination of PLX9486 at 500 mg and pexidartinib 600 mg was associated with three partial responses and a clinical benefit rate of 67%, with a PFS on interim analysis of 6 months.
The efficacy of single agent PLX9486 was suggested by circulating tumor DNA studies, which showed reductions in circulating tumor DNA levels of exons 11 and 17/18, which reflected the selectivity profile of the TKI.
In the PLX9486 dose escalation phase, there were three cases of grade 3 or 4 toxicities, including one case each of fatigue, creatinine phosphokinase increase, and hypophosphatemia.
The combination of PLX9486 and pexidartinib was associated with grade 1 or 2 adverse events, including hair color changes in five patients; fatigue and decreased appetite in four patients each; anemia, diarrhea, nausea, alanine aminotransferase increase, and aspartate aminotransferase increase in three patients each; and weight loss, maculopapular rash, and hypertension in two patients each.
At the time of the poster presentation, the sunitinib cohort was still accruing, and interim efficacy data were not available.
“Given these interim results, it is anticipated that the selectivity profile and potency of PLX9486 + sunitinib combination will achieve broader and more durable coverage of primary and secondary KIT mutations,” Dr. Wagner and his associates wrote.
SOURCE: Wagner AJ et al. ASCO 2018, .