Multiple treatment modalities are available for MF, but most result in inevitable relapse. Therefore, new treatment strategies that improve response rate and prolong response duration are greatly needed. TSEBT is a highly effective therapy in MF. LD-TSEBT (12 Gy) is much more tolerable than the conventional 36+ Gy dose, thereby allowing for re-treatment; however, LD-TSEBT has a less favorable complete response rate and response duration.
Combining LD-TSEBT with immunostimulatory modalities in MF has a strong biological rationale, since radiation-induced exposure of cancer-specific antigens should be synergistic with concomitant stimulation of anti-cancer immune responses. Interleukin-12 is a robust candidate for radioimmunotherapy, as IL-12 has significant anti-MF activity as monotherapy, is very well tolerated without overlapping toxicity with TSEBT, and is a potent stimulator of innate and adaptive immunity.
We report on a single-arm open-label phase 2a trial of combination of LD-TSEBT and NM-IL-12. Ten patients are planned for enrollment. Eligibility includes MF-type CTCL stages IB-IIIB and patients must be eligible for LD-TSEBT. TSEBT is started on study day 1 (fractionated 4 Gy/week, up to 12 Gy). NM-IL-12 is administered subcutaneously at 150 ng/kg on days 2 and 15, followed by 6 maintenance doses q4w at 100 ng/kg. The primary endpoint is safety with secondary endpoints being response rate and PFS.
Currently, 6 patients are enrolled, 5 evaluable for response; 4 male; median age 55; three have stage IB, one IIB and one IIIB. Median number of previous therapies is 2 (0-6). The treatment was well-tolerated with only grade 1 or 2 AEs; most common AEs include grade 1 headache and chills.
One patient achieved CR, 2 PR, and 2 SD. Median follow-up is so far 15 weeks and 5 patients remain on study. One patient has been withdrawn from the study due to development of a suspected PLC (pityriasis lichenoides chronica)-like skin reaction requiring topical steroid therapy. PK and PD analysis was completed in the first 4 patients. It demonstrated measurable drug levels in all patients studied, Cmax being 10.8-56.1 pg/ml achieved at 5-24 hours post injection. Interferon-γ and IP-10 (hallmark PD markers of IL-12 activity) were measurable after the first and the second injections in all patients. Levels of the inhibitory cytokine IL-10 were generally measurable after NM-IL-12 injections, but were very low (<1 pg/ml up to 12 pg/ml) - much lower than previously reported in IL-12 studies, thus unlikely to be associated with negative immunosuppressive feedback. There was no clear correlation between PK and PD measurements and either efficacy or toxicity, but the number of patients fully evaluated is small.
Total RNA was extracted from patient blood samples and subjected to qRT-PCR. Gene specific primers were used to analyse intracellular expression of the IL-12 receptor and immune cell markers. Ongoing work investigates an activated cellular phenotype at week 15 of LD-TSEBT and NM-IL-12 treatment compared with the respective baseline samples.
Overall these early results demonstrate that NM-IL-12 can be safely administered together with LD-TSEBT in CTCL patients. Encouraging clinical activity is observed including a CR. Enrollment is currently ongoing and planned PD and correlative biomarker studies are in progress.
A phase 2B randomized trial of NM-IL-12 and low dose TSEBT compared against low-dose TSEBT alone in patients with MF is being developed based on the apparent benign AE profile as compared to approved systemic therapies.
Kim:Takeda: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Eisai: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Tetralogic: Research Funding; Neumedicine: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding; Kyowa Kirin Pharma: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Portola: Consultancy; miRagen: Research Funding; Innate: Research Funding; Horizon Pharma: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Forty Seven Inc: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Seattle Genetics: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Soligenix: Research Funding. Ma:Neumedicines: Employment. Kha:Neumedicines: Employment. Lawrence:Neumedicines: Employment, Patents & Royalties. Vainstein:Neumedicines: Employment. Basile:Neumedicines: Employment, Equity Ownership, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Patents & Royalties.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.