Background: Proteasome inhibition is a very effective therapeutic strategy in multiple myeloma (MM). The investigational agent MLN9708 is an oral, specific, reversible inhibitor of the 20S proteasome that has shown antitumor activity in solid tumor and hematologic malignancy xenograft models. Phase 1 trials are evaluating both intravenous and oral formulations using different dosing schedules in a variety of tumor types. Here we report the findings from the dose-escalation portion of a phase 1 trial of once-weekly, orally administered MLN9708 in patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM (NCT00963820).
Methods: The primary objectives were to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the safety/tolerability of MLN9708. Secondary objectives included determination of response rate, and characterization of the pharmacokinetics (PK, of MLN2238, the biologically active hydrolysis product) and pharmacodynamics (PD, 20S proteasome inhibition in blood) of once-weekly oral MLN9708. Patients with MM who had received ≥2 prior therapies, which must have included bortezomib, thalidomide or lenalidomide, and corticosteroids, were eligible. Treatment consisted of MLN9708 administered orally on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle. Dose-escalation proceeded from 0.24 mg/m2 using a standard 3+3 schema based on dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) occurring in cycle 1. Adverse events (AEs) were graded by NCI-CTCAE v3. Response was assessed by modified EBMT/IMWG criteria. Blood samples were collected after dosing on days 1 and 15 of cycle 1 for PK and PD analyses; parameters were calculated using noncompartmental methods (WinNonlin software v5.3).
Results: A total of 28 patients have been enrolled to date (data cut-off: June 29, 2011), including 3 each at dose levels of 0.24, 0.48, 0.80, and 1.20, 4 at 1.68, 3 at 2.23, 4 at 2.97, and 5 at 3.95 mg/m2. The median age was 63.5 years (range 40–76); 54% were male. The median number of prior regimens was 5 (range 2–15), and median time from diagnosis was 4.6 years. Nineteen (68%) patients had prior stem cell transplant, and 16 (59%) were refractory to their last prior therapy, including 7 (26%) to bortezomib and 11 (41%) to lenalidomide or thalidomide. The MTD has not been reached; the current cohort is receiving 3.95 mg/m2. No DLTs have been observed among 21 DLT-evaluable patients. Patients have received a median of 2 treatment cycles (range 1–11; mean 2.8). Four patients remain on treatment; discontinuation was mainly due to progressive disease (71%). All 28 patients are evaluable for toxicity; 26 (93%) experienced at least one AE, including 22 (79%) who experienced at least one drug-related AE. Drug-related AEs occurring in >20% of patients included fatigue (39%), thrombocytopenia (36%), nausea (32%), and diarrhea (29%). Two (7%) patients had drug-related peripheral neuropathy (PN, both grade 2); both had grade 1 PN at baseline. Ten (36%) patients experienced grade ≥3 AEs, 4 (14%) had AEs resulting in MLN9708 dose reductions, and 3 (11%) discontinued due to AEs. No on-study deaths have occurred. In 16 response-evaluable patients, one partial response has been seen, in a patient treated at 2.97 mg/m2 (who had three prior lines of therapy, thalidomide–dexamethasone, lenalidomide–dexamethasone–perifosine, and bortezomib–dexamethasone, to which the patient responded and relapsed); duration of response is 3.7 months, and the patient remains in response at cycle 8. A further five patients had a best response of stable disease, durable for up to 9.5 months. PK analyses showed that MLN9708 was rapidly absorbed, with MLN2238 Tmax of 0.5–2.0 hours and a terminal half-life after multiple dosing of approximately 7 days based on limited data (n=5). MLN2238 exposure appeared to increase proportionally with increasing MLN9708 dose over the range 0.8–2.97 mg/m2. Maximal 20S proteasome inhibition in blood was immediate and dose-dependent.
Conclusions: Current data suggest that MLN9708 on a once-weekly schedule is generally well tolerated and has early signs of anti-tumor activity in this heavily pre-treated population with prior exposure to lenalidomide/thalidomide and bortezomib. To date, toxicity has been manageable, and no significant neuropathy signal has been observed. Updated data will be presented, with the MTD anticipated to be reached. Data from an analysis of candidate biomarkers of responsiveness to treatment with MLN9708 will also be presented.