Phase II Study Of Asparagine-Glycine-Arginine–Human Tumor Necrosis Factor α, A Selective Vascular Targeting Agent, In Previously Treated Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
NGR-hTNF consists of human tumor necrosis factor α (hTNF-α) fused to the tumor-homing peptide asparagine-glycine-arginine (NGR) able to selectively bind an aminopeptidase N isoform overexpressed on tumor blood vessels. Hypervascularity is a prominent and poor-prognosis feature of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Currently, there are no standard options for patients with MPM who are failing a front-line pemetrexed-based regimen. We explored safety and efficacy of NGR-hTNF in this setting.
Eligible patients had radiologically documented tumor progression and performance status ≤ 2. Primary study aim was progression-free survival (PFS). NGR-hTNF 0.8 μg/m2 was given intravenously every 3 weeks. A subsequent cohort of patients received 0.8 μg/m2 on a weekly basis.
In the triweekly cohort (n = 43), only one grade 3 drug-related toxicity was noted, and the most common grades 1 to 2 were short-lived chills (71%). The median PFS was 2.8 months (95% CI, 2.3 to 3.3 months). Nineteen patients (44%) had disease control (one had partial response, and 18 had stable diseases) and experienced a median progression-free time of 4.4 months. In the weekly cohort (n = 14), there was no higher toxicity, and median PFS was 3.0 months (95% CI, 1.9 to 4.1 months). Seven patients (50%) had disease control (all stable diseases) and had a median progression-free interval of 9.1 months. In the overall study population (N = 57), median PFS was 2.8 months. Median progression-free time was 4.7 months in twenty-six patients (46%) who achieved disease control. Median survival was 12.1 months.
The tolerability and disease control of NGR-hTNF 0.8 μg/m2 weekly warrant additional evaluation in patients with advanced MPM.