alexa A randomized phase II study of the telomerase inhibitor imetelstat as maintenance therapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.


Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy

Author(s): Chiappori AA, Kolevska T, Spigel DR, Hager S, Rarick M,

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Continuation or 'switch' maintenance therapy is commonly used in patients with advancd non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, we evaluated the efficacy of the telomerase inhibitor, imetelstat, as switch maintenance therapy in patients with advanced NSCLC. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The primary end point of this open-label, randomized phase II study was progression-free survival (PFS). Patients with non-progressive, advanced NSCLC after platinum-based doublet (first-line) chemotherapy (with or without bevacizumab), any histology, with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-1 were eligible. Randomization was 2 : 1 in favor of imetelstat, administered at 9.4 mg/kg on days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle, or observation. Telomere length (TL) biomarker exploratory analysis was carried out in tumor tissue by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and telomerase fluorescence in situ hybridization. RESULTS: Of 116 patients enrolled, 114 were evaluable. Grade 3/4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia were more frequent with imetelstat. Median PFS was 2.8 and 2.6 months for imetelstat-treated versus control [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.844; 95\% CI 0.54-1.31; P = 0.446]. Median survival time favored imetelstat (14.3 versus 11.5 months), although not significantly (HR = 0.68; 95\% CI 0.41-1.12; P = 0.129). Exploratory analysis demonstrated a trend toward longer median PFS (HR = 0.43; 95\% CI 0.14-1.3; P = 0.124) and overall survival (OS; HR = 0.41; 95\% CI 0.11-1.46; P = 0.155) in imetelstat-treated patients with short TL, but no improvement in median PFS and OS in patients with long TL (HR = 0.86; 95\% CI 0.39-1.88; and HR = 0.51; 95\% CI 0.2-1.28; P = 0.145). CONCLUSIONS: Maintenance imetelstat failed to improve PFS in advanced NSCLC patients responding to first-line therapy. There was a trend toward a improvement in median PFS and OS in patients with short TL. Short TL as a predictive biomarker will require further investigation for the clinical development of imetelstat. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: [email protected]
This article was published in Ann Oncol and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy

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