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MTL-CEBPA, a Small Activating RNA Therapeutic Upregulating C/EBP-α, in Patients with Advanced Liver Cancer: A First-in-Human, Multicenter, Open-Label, Phase I Trial

Sarker, D; Plummer, R; Meyer, T; Sodergren, M; Basu, B; Chee, CE; Huang, K-W; ... Habib, N; + view all (2020) MTL-CEBPA, a Small Activating RNA Therapeutic Upregulating C/EBP-α, in Patients with Advanced Liver Cancer: A First-in-Human, Multicenter, Open-Label, Phase I Trial. Clinical Cancer Research , 26 (15) pp. 3936-3946. 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0414. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Transcription factor C/EBP-α (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha) acts as a master regulator of hepatic and myeloid functions and multiple oncogenic processes. MTL-CEBPA is a first-in-class small activating RNA oligonucleotide drug which up-regulates C/EBP-α. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We conducted a phase I, open label, dose escalation trial of MTL-CEBPA in adults with advanced HCC with cirrhosis, or resulting from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or with liver metastases. Patients received intravenous MTL-CEBPA once a week for 3 weeks followed by a rest period of 1 week per treatment cycle in the dose escalation phase (3+3 design). RESULTS: 38 participants have been treated across 6 dose levels (28-160 mg/m2) and 3 dosing schedules. 34 patients were evaluable for safety endpoints at 28 days. MTL-CEBPA treatment-related adverse events were not associated with dose and no maximum dose was reached across the 3 schedules evaluated. Grade 3 treatment related adverse events occurred in 9 (24%) patients. In 24 HCC patients evaluable for efficacy, an objective tumour response was achieved in 1 patient [4%; partial response (PR) for over 2 years] and stable disease (SD) in 12 (50%). After discontinuation of MTL-CEBPA, seven patients were treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI); 3 patients had a complete response with one further PR and two with SD. CONCLUSIONS: MTL-CEBPA is the first saRNA in clinical trials and demonstrates an acceptable safety profile and potential synergistic efficacy with TKIs in HCC. These encouraging Phase I data validate targeting of C/EBP-α and have prompted MTL-CEBPA + sorafenib combination studies in HCC.

Type: Article
Title: MTL-CEBPA, a Small Activating RNA Therapeutic Upregulating C/EBP-α, in Patients with Advanced Liver Cancer: A First-in-Human, Multicenter, Open-Label, Phase I Trial
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0414
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0414
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097721
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