Ligation of glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor (GITR) decreases regulatory T cell-mediated suppression and enhances T-cell proliferation, effector function, and survival. MK-1248 is a humanized immunoglobulin G4 anti-GITR monoclonal antibody agonist.
In patients with advanced solid tumors, MK-1248 (starting dose, 0.12 mg) was tested alone and with pembrolizumab (200 mg) according to a 3 + 3 dose escalation design ( identifier NCT02553499); both treatments were administered intravenously every 3 weeks for ≤4 and ≤35 cycles, respectively. The safety and tolerability, maximum tolerated dose, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics were explored.
Twenty patients received MK-1248 monotherapy; 17 received combination therapy. The most frequent tumor types were colorectal cancer (n = 8), melanoma (n = 6), and renal cell carcinoma (n = 4). MK-1248 was generally well tolerated at the maximum tested doses of 170 (monotherapy) and 60 mg (combination). No dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) or treatment-related deaths occurred. Adverse events (AEs) occurred in 36 of the 37 patients (97%); the most common were vomiting (n = 13 [35%]), anemia (n = 10 [27%]), and decreased appetite (n = 10 [27%]). Grade 3 to 5 AEs occurred in 19 of the 37 patients (51%). Treatment-related AEs occurred in 18 of the 37 patients (49%): 9 of the 20 patients (45%) on monotherapy and 9 of the 17 patients (53%) on combination therapy. Among the 17 patients receiving combination therapy, 1 achieved a complete response and 2 achieved a partial response, for an objective response rate of 18%; no patients achieved an objective response with monotherapy. The disease control rate (stable disease or better) was 15% with monotherapy and 41% with combination therapy.
MK-1248 was generally well tolerated at doses up to 170 (monotherapy) and 60 mg (combination), with no DLTs or treatment-related deaths. Combination therapy provided limited antitumor responses.

© 2020 American Cancer Society.