Purpose: Elesclomol, an investigational first-in-class compound, induces oxidative stress, triggers mitochondrial-induced apoptosis in cancer cells, and shows synergy with taxanes in tumor models. Following completion of a phase II trial of elesclomol in combination with paclitaxel that met its primary end point of progression-free survival (PFS), this randomized, double-blind, controlled phase III study was conducted to confirm the efficacy and tolerability of elesclomol in combination with paclitaxel versus paclitaxel alone in patients with advanced melanoma Patients and Methods: Patients with stage IV chemotherapy-naive melanoma (n = 651) were randomly assigned 1:1 to paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 either alone or in combination with elesclomol 213 mg/m2 administered weekly for 3 weeks of a 4-week cycle. Patients were stratified by prior systemic treatment, M1 subclass, and baseline lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels. The primary end point was PFS Results: The study did not achieve its PFS end point (hazard ratio, 0.89; P = .23). The study was stopped when an early overall survival data analysis indicated an imbalance in total deaths favoring paclitaxel, predominantly in patients with high LDH levels. A prospectively defined subgroup analysis revealed a statistically significant improvement in median PFS for the combination in patients with normal baseline LDH Conclusion: The addition of elesclomol to paclitaxel did not significantly improve PFS in unselected patients with advanced melanoma. The association between baseline LDH and clinical outcomes suggests that LDH may be a predictive factor for treatment with this combination, consistent with recent findings on the association between elesclomol anticancer activity and cellular metabolic state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research