The Lancet Oncology 2022 April [Link]

Hedy L Kindler, Silvia Novello, Alessandra Bearz, Giovanni L Ceresoli, Joachim G J V Aerts, James Spicer, Paul Taylor, Kristiaan Nackaerts, Alastair Greystoke, Ross Jennens, Luana Calabrò, Jacobus A Burgers, Armando Santoro, Susana Cedrés, Piotr Serwatowski, Santiago Ponce, Jan P Van Meerbeeck, Anna K Nowak, George Blumenschein Jr, Jonathan M Siegel, Linda Kasten, Karl Köchert, Annette O Walter, Barrett H Childs, Cem Elbi, Raffit Hassan, Dean A Fennell

Abstract

Background: Few treatment options exist for second-line treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. We aimed to assess the antibody-drug conjugate anetumab ravtansine versus vinorelbine in patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic disease overexpressing mesothelin who had progressed on first-line platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab.

Methods: In this phase 2, randomised, open-label study, done at 76 hospitals in 14 countries, we enrolled adults (aged ≥18 years) with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1, and who had progressed on first-line platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab. Participants were prospectively screened for mesothelin overexpression (defined as 2+ or 3+ mesothelin membrane staining intensity on at least 30% of viable tumour cells by immunohistochemistry) and were randomly assigned (2:1), using an interactive voice and web response system provided by the sponsor, to receive intravenous anetumab ravtansine (6·5 mg/kg on day 1 of each 21-day cycle) or intravenous vinorelbine (30 mg/m2 once every week) until progression, toxicity, or death. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival according to blinded central radiology review, assessed in the intention-to-treat population, with safety assessed in all participants who received any study treatment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02610140, and is now completed.

Findings: Between Dec 3, 2015, and May 31, 2017, 589 patients were enrolled and 248 mesothelin-overexpressing patients were randomly allocated to the two treatment groups (166 patients were randomly assigned to receive anetumab ravtansine and 82 patients were randomly assigned to receive vinorelbine). 105 (63%) of 166 patients treated with anetumab ravtansine (median follow-up 4·0 months [IQR 1·4-5·5]) versus 43 (52%) of 82 patients treated with vinorelbine (3·9 months [1·4-5·4]) had disease progression or died (median progression-free survival 4·3 months [95% CI 4·1-5·2] vs 4·5 months [4·1-5·8]; hazard ratio 1·22 [0·85-1·74]; log-rank p=0·86). The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events were neutropenia (one [1%] of 163 patients for anetumab ravtansine vs 28 [39%] of 72 patients for vinorelbine), pneumonia (seven [4%] vs five [7%]), neutrophil count decrease (two [1%] vs 12 [17%]), and dyspnoea (nine [6%] vs three [4%]). Serious drug-related treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 12 (7%) patients treated with anetumab ravtansine and 11 (15%) patients treated with vinorelbine. Ten (6%) treatment-emergent deaths occurred with anetumab ravtansine: pneumonia (three [2%]), dyspnoea (two [1%]), sepsis (two [1%]), atrial fibrillation (one [1%]), physical deterioration (one [1%]), hepatic failure (one [1%]), mesothelioma (one [1%]), and renal failure (one [1%]; one patient had 3 events). One (1%) treatment-emergent death occurred in the vinorelbine group (pneumonia).

Interpretation: Anetumab ravtansine showed a manageable safety profile and was not superior to vinorelbine. Further studies are needed to define active treatments in relapsed mesothelin-expressing malignant pleural mesothelioma.