A first-in-human phase I, multicenter, open-label, dose-escalation study of the oral RAF/VEGFR-2 inhibitor (RAF265) in locally advanced or metastatic melanoma independent from BRAF mutation status

Abstract

To establish the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), dose-limiting toxicities (DLT), safety profile, and anti-tumor efficacy of RAF265. We conducted a multicenter, open-label, phase-I, dose-escalation trial of RAF265, an orally available RAF kinase/VEGFR-2 inhibitor, in patients with advanced or metastatic melanoma. Pharmacokinetic (PK) analysis, pharmacodynamics (PD) and tumor response assessment were conducted. We evaluated metabolic tumor response by 18[F]-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron-emission tomography (FDG-PET), tissue biomarkers using immunohistochemistry (IHC), and modulators of angiogenesis. RAF265 has a serum half-life of approximately 200 h. The MTD was 48 mg once daily given continuously. Among 77 patients, most common treatment-related adverse effects were fatigue (52%), diarrhea (34%), weight loss (31%) and vitreous floaters (27%). Eight of 66 evaluable patients (12.1%) had an objective response, including seven partial and one complete response. Responses occurred in BRAF-mutant and BRAF wild-type (WT) patients. Twelve of 58 (20.7%) evaluable patients had a partial metabolic response. On-treatment versus pretreatment IHC staining in 23 patients showed dose-dependent p-ERK inhibition. We observed a significant temporal increase in placental growth factor levels and decrease in soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (sVEGFR-2) levels in all dose levels. RAF265 is an oral RAF/VEGFR-2 inhibitor that produced antitumor responses, metabolic responses, and modulated angiogenic growth factor levels. Antitumor activity occurred in patients with BRAF-mutant and BRAF-WT disease. Despite low activity at tolerable doses, this study provides a framework for the development of pan-RAF inhibitors and modulators of angiogenesis for the treatment of melanoma.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Metabolic responses based on FDG-PET assessment. PMR partial metabolic response, SMD stable metabolic disease, PMD progressive metabolic disease. *indicates patients with PMD as defined in Methods.

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