Stereotactic body radiotherapy with or without selective dismutase mimetic in pancreatic adenocarcinoma: an adaptive, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1b/2 trial

Lancet Oncol. 2023 Dec;24(12):1387-1398.

Cullen M TaniguchiJessica M FrakesTodd A AguileraManisha PaltaBrian CzitoManoop S BhutaniLauren E ColbertJoseph Abi JaoudeVincent BernardShubham PantChing-Wei D TzengDae Won KimMokenge MalafaJames CostelloGeena MathewNeal Rebueno 1Eugene J KoayPrajnan DasEthan B Ludmir , Matthew H G KatzRobert A Wolff , Sam BeddarGabriel O SawakuchiShalini MoningiRebecca S Slack TidwellYing YuanPeter F ThallRobert A BeardsleyJon HolmlundJoseph M HermanSarah E Hoffe

DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(23)00478-3



Background: Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) has the potential to ablate localised pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Selective dismutase mimetics sensitise tumours while reducing normal tissue toxicity. This trial was designed to establish the efficacy and toxicity afforded by the selective dismutase mimetic avasopasem manganese when combined with ablative SBRT for localised pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Methods: In this adaptive, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1b/2 trial, patients aged 18 years or older with borderline resectable or locally advanced pancreatic cancer who had received at least 3 months of chemotherapy and had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2 were enrolled at six academic sites in the USA. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1), with block randomisation (block sizes of 6-12) with a maximum of 24 patients per group, to receive daily avasopasem (90 mg) or placebo intravenously directly before (ie, within 180 min) SBRT (50, 55, or 60 Gy in five fractions, adaptively assigned in real time by Bayesian estimates of 90-day safety and efficacy). Patients and physicians were masked to treatment group allocation, but not to SBRT dose. The primary objective was to find the optimal dose of SBRT with avasopasem or placebo as determined by the late onset EffTox method. All analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis. This study is registered with, NCT03340974, and is complete.

Findings: Between Jan 25, 2018, and April 29, 2020, 47 patients were screened, of whom 42 were enrolled (median age was 71 years [IQR 63-75], 23 [55%] were male, 19 [45%] were female, 37 [88%] were White, three [7%] were Black, and one [2%] each were unknown or other races) and randomly assigned to avasopasem (n=24) or placebo (n=18); the placebo group was terminated early after failing to meet prespecified efficacy parameters. At data cutoff (June 28, 2021), the avasopasem group satisfied boundaries for both efficacy and toxicity. Late onset EffTox efficacy response was observed in 16 (89%) of 18 patients at 50 Gy and six (100%) of six patients at 55 Gy in the avasopasem group, and was observed in three (50%) of six patients at 50 Gy and nine (75%) of 12 patients at 55 Gy in the placebo group, and the Bayesian model recommended 50 Gy or 55 Gy in five fractions with avasopasem for further study. Serious adverse events of any cause were reported in three (17%) of 18 patients in the placebo group and six (25%) of 24 in the avasopasem group. In the placebo group, grade 3 adverse events within 90 days of SBRT were abdominal pain, acute cholangitis, pyrexia, increased blood lactic acid, and increased lipase (one [6%] each); no grade 4 events occurred. In the avasopasem group, grade 3-4 adverse events within 90 days of SBRT were acute kidney injury, increased blood alkaline phosphatase, haematoma, colitis, gastric obstruction, lung infection, abdominal abscess, post-surgical atrial fibrillation, and pneumonia leading to respiratory failure (one [4%] each).There were no treatment-related deaths but one late death in the avasopasem group due to sepsis in the setting of duodenal obstruction after off-study treatment was reported as potentially related to SBRT.

Interpretation: SBRT that uses 50 or 55 Gy in five fractions can be considered for patients with localised pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The addition of avasopasem might further enhance disease outcomes. A larger phase 2 trial (GRECO-2, NCT04698915) is underway to validate these results.