Purpose: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) facilitates the adaptation of normal and tumor tissues to oxygen deprivation. HIF-1 is frequently overexpressed in cancer cells, where it is involved in the upregulation of many genes necessary for survival. EZN-2968 is an antisense oligodeoxynucleotide that specifically targets HIF-1α, one of the subunits of HIF-1. We conducted a trial of EZN-2968 in patients with refractory solid tumors to evaluate antitumor response and to measure modulation of HIF-1α mRNA and protein levels as well as HIF-1 target genes. Methods: Adult patients with refractory advanced solid tumors were administered EZN-2968 as a 2-h IV infusion at a dose of 18 mg/kg once a week for three consecutive weeks followed by 3-week off; in a 6-week cycle. Tumor biopsies and dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) were performed at baseline and after the third dose. Results: Ten patients were enrolled, of whom all were evaluable for response; one patient with a duodenal neuroendocrine tumor had prolonged stabilization of disease (24 weeks). Reduction in HIF-1α mRNA levels compared to baseline was demonstrated in 4 of 6 patients with paired tumor biopsies. Reductions in levels of HIF-1α protein and mRNA levels of some target genes were observed in two patients. Quantitative analysis of DCE-MRI from two patients revealed changes in K trans and k ep. The trial was closed prematurely when the sponsor suspended development of this agent. Conclusion: This trial provides preliminary proof of concept for modulation of HIF-1α mRNA and protein expression and target genes in tumor biopsies following the administration of EZN-2968.
- HIF mRNA
- Pharmacodynamics-driven trials
- Synthetic locked nucleic acid (LNA) oligodeoxynucleotide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Pharmacology (medical)