Clin Cancer Res

Neoadjuvant Trebananib plus Paclitaxel-based Chemotherapy for Stage II/III Breast Cancer in the Adaptively Randomized I-SPY2 Trial—Efficacy and Biomarker Discovery

Albain KS, Yau C, Petricoin EF, Wolf DM, Lang JE, Chien AJ, Haddad T, Forero-Torres A, Wallace AM, Kaplan H, Pusztai L, Euhus D, Nanda R, Elias AD, Clark AS, Godellas C, Boughey JC, Isaacs C, Tripathy D, Lu J, Yung RL, Gallagher RI, Wulfkuhle JD, Brown-Swigart L, Krings G, Chen YY, Potter DA, Stringer-Reasor E, Blair S, Asare SM, Wilson A, Hirst GL, Singhrao R, Buxton M, Clennell JL, Sanil A, Berry S, Asare AL, Matthews JB, DeMichele AM, Hylton NM, Melisko M, Perlmutter J, Rugo HS, Symmans WF, Veer LJ van’t, Yee D, Berry DA, Esserman LJ

Purpose: The neutralizing peptibody trebananib prevents angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2 from binding with Tie2 receptors, inhibiting angiogenesis and proliferation. Trebananib was combined with paclitaxel±trastuzumab in the I-SPY2 breast cancer trial.

Patients and Methods: I-SPY2, a phase II neoadjuvant trial, adaptively randomizes patients with high-risk, early-stage breast cancer to one of several experimental therapies or control based on receptor subtypes as defined by hormone receptor (HR) and HER2 status and MammaPrint risk (MP1, MP2). The primary endpoint is pathologic complete response (pCR). A therapy “graduates” if/when it achieves 85% Bayesian probability of success in a phase III trial within a given subtype. Patients received weekly paclitaxel (plus trastuzumab if HER2-positive) without (control) or with weekly intravenous trebananib, followed by doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide and surgery. Pathway-specific biomarkers were assessed for response prediction.

Results: There were 134 participants randomized to trebananib and 133 to control. Although trebananib did not graduate in any signature [phase III probabilities: Hazard ratio (HR)-negative (78%), HR-negative/HER2-positive (74%), HR-negative/HER2-negative (77%), and MP2 (79%)], it demonstrated high probability of superior pCR rates over control (92%–99%) among these subtypes. Trebananib improved 3-year event-free survival (HR 0.67), with no significant increase in adverse events. Activation levels of the Tie2 receptor and downstream signaling partners predicted trebananib response in HER2-positive disease; high expression of a CD8 T-cell gene signature predicted response in HR-negative/HER2-negative disease.

Conclusions: The angiopoietin (Ang)/Tie2 axis inhibitor trebananib combined with standard neoadjuvant therapy increased estimated pCR rates across HR-negative and MP2 subtypes, with probabilities of superiority >90%. Further study of Ang/Tie2 receptor axis inhibitors in validated, biomarker-predicted sensitive subtypes is warranted.

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