BACKGROUND: Patients with platinum-refractory, recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (RM-SCCHN) have limited options. Activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1) is a type I receptor of the transforming growth factor β superfamily expressed on activated endothelial cells. Dalantercept is an ALK1 receptor fusion protein that acts as a ligand trap to block signaling through ALK1 and inhibits stages of angiogenesis involved in blood vessel maturation and stabilization. In a phase 1 study, dalantercept demonstrated clinical activity in patients with RM-SCCHN. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the activity of dalantercept in RM-SCCHN. METHODS: Forty-six patients received dalantercept at doses of 80 mg (n = 2), 0.6 mg/kg (n = 13), or 1.2 mg/kg (n = 31) subcutaneously every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was the overall response rate according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST version 1.1). Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival and overall survival, safety and tolerability, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic assessments. RESULTS: Forty patients were evaluable for response (13 who received dalantercept 0.6 mg/kg and 27 who received dalantercept 1.2 mg/kg). The overall response rate was 5% (n = 2), and 35% of patients had stable disease; 44% of patients who received 1.2 mg/kg and 30.8% of those who received 0.6 mg/kg achieved disease control (partial response or stable disease). The median progression-fee survival was 1.4 months (95% confidence interval, 1.3-2.2 months), and the median overall survival was 7.1 months (95% confidence interval, 5.5-11.1 months). Drug-related adverse events (>15%) were anemia, fatigue, peripheral edema, headache, and hyponatremia. CONCLUSIONS: In an unselected, heavily pretreated population of patients with RM-SCCHN, dalantercept monotherapy resulted in a favorable safety profile but only modest dose-dependent activity, and it did not meet the primary efficacy objective of the study. Cancer 2016;122:3641-9.
- activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1)
- bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9)
- dalantercept. squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research