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Cancer. 2017 Dec 1;123(23):4556-4565. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30897. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

A phase 1/1B trial of ADI-PEG 20 plus nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine in patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.
Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.
Polaris Pharmaceuticals, Inc, San Diego, California.



ADI-PEG 20 is a pegylated form of the arginine-depleting enzyme arginine deiminase. Normal cells synthesize arginine with the enzyme argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS1); ADI-PEG 20 selectively targets malignant cells, which lack ASS1.


A single-arm, nonrandomized, open-label, phase 1/1B, standard 3 + 3 dose escalation with an expansion cohort of 9 patients at the recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) was conducted. Patients who had metastatic pancreatic cancer, up to 1 line of prior treatment (the dose-escalation cohort) or no prior treatment (the expansion cohort), and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1 were included. Patients received both gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 ) and nab-paclitaxel (125 mg/m2 ) for 3 of 4 weeks and intramuscular ADI-PEG 20 at 18 mg/m2 weekly (cohort 1) or at 36 mg/m2 weekly (cohort 2 and the expansion cohort).The primary endpoint was to determine the maximum tolerated dose and RP2D of ADI-PEG 20 in combination with nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine.


Eighteen patients were enrolled. No dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were observed in cohort 1; cohort 2 was expanded to 6 patients because of 1 DLT occurrence (a grade 3 elevation in bilirubin, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase). The most frequent adverse events (AEs) of any grade were neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, anemia, peripheral neuropathy, and fatigue; all 18 patients experienced grade 3/4 AEs. The most frequent grade 3/4 toxicities, regardless of the relation with any drugs, included neutropenia (12 patients or 67%), leukopenia (10 patients or 56%), anemia (8 patients or 44%), and lymphopenia (6 patients or 33%). The RP2D for ADI-PEG 20 was 36 mg/m2 weekly in combination with standard-dose gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. The overall response rate among patients treated at the RP2D in the first-line setting was 45.5% (5 of 11).The median progression-free survival time for these patients treated at the RP2D was 6.1 months (95% confidence interval, 5.3-11.2 months), and the median overall survival time was 11.3 months (95% confidence interval, 6.7 months to not reached).


ADI-PEG 20 was well tolerated in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. Activity was observed in previously treated and untreated patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and in patients with ASS1-deficient and -proficient tumors. Cancer 2017;123:4556-4565. © 2017 American Cancer Society.


ADI-PEG 20; gemcitabine; nab-paclitaxel; pancreatic cancer

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