BACKGROUND: Poly(adenosine diphosphate ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors such as veliparib are potent sensitizing agents and have been safely combined with DNA-damaging agents such as temozolomide. The sensitizing effects of PARP inhibitors are magnified when cells harbor DNA repair defects. METHODS: A single-arm, open-label, phase 2 study was performed to investigate the disease control rate (DCR) after 2 cycles of veliparib plus temozolomide in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) refractory to all standard therapies. Fifty patients received temozolomide (150 mg/m2/d) on days 1 to 5 and veliparib (40 mg twice daily) on days 1 to 7 of each 28-day cycle. Another 5 patients with mismatch repair–deficient (dMMR) tumors were also enrolled. Twenty additional patients were then treated with temozolomide at 200 mg/m2/d. Archived tumor specimens were used for immunohistochemistry to assess mismatch repair, phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), and O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) protein expression levels. RESULTS: The combination was well tolerated, although some patients required dose reductions for myelosuppression. The primary endpoint was successfully met with a DCR of 24% and 2 confirmed partial responses. The median progression-free survival was 1.8 months, and the median overall survival was 6.6 months. PTEN protein expression and MGMT protein expression were not predictors of DCR. There was also a suggestion of worse outcomes for patients with dMMR tumors. CONCLUSIONS: In this heavily pretreated mCRC population, a combination of veliparib and temozolomide was well tolerated with temozolomide doses up to 200 mg/m2/d, and it was clinically active. PARP inhibitor–based therapy merits further exploration in patients with mCRC. Cancer 2018;124:2337-46.
- colorectal cancer
- mismatch repair genes
- O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT)
- phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research