Phase I and preliminary phase II study of TRC105 in combination with sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma

Austin G. Duffy*, Chi Ma, Susanna V. Ulahannan, Osama E. Rahma, Oxana Makarova-Rusher, Liang Cao, Yunkai Yu, David E. Kleiner, Jane Trepel, Min Jung Lee, Yusuke Tomita, Seth M. Steinberg, Theo Heller, Baris Turkbey, Peter L. Choyke, Cody J. Peer, William D. Figg, Brad J. Wood, Tim F. Greten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Purpose: Endoglin (CD105) is an endothelial cell membrane receptor highly expressed on proliferating tumor vasculature, including that of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and is associated with poor prognosis. Endoglin is essential for angiogenesis, and its expression is induced by hypoxia and VEGF pathway inhibition. TRC105 is a chimeric IgG1 CD105 mAb that inhibits angiogenesis and causes antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and apoptosis of proliferating endothelium. Experimental Design: Patients with HCC (Child–Pugh A/B7), ECOG 0/1, were enrolled in a phase I study of TRC105 at 3, 6, 10, and 15 mg/kg every 2 weeks given with sorafenib 400 mg twice daily. Correlative biomarkers included DCE-MRI and plasma levels of angiogenic factors, including soluble endoglin. Pharmacokinetics were assessed in serum. Results: Twenty-six patients were enrolled, of whom 25 received treatment, 15 with cirrhosis. Hep B/C: 3/15; M:F 19:6; mean age of 60 (range, 18–76); 1 DLT (grade 3 AST) occurred at 10 mg/kg. The most frequent toxicity was low-grade epistaxis, a known toxicity of TRC105. One patient experienced an infusion reaction and was replaced. One patient with coronary stenosis developed a fatal myocardial infarction, and one patient developed G3 cerebral tumor hemorrhage. MTD was not established and DL4 (15 mg/kg) was expanded. The overall response rate in 24 evaluable patients at all 4 dose levels was 21% [95% confidence interval (CI), 7.1–42.2], and 25% (95% CI, 8.7–49.1) in patients with measureable disease. Four patients had confirmed stable disease, one of whom was treated for 22 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) for 24 patients evaluable for PFS was 3.8 months (95% CI, 3.2–5.6 months); median overall survival was 15.5 months (95% CI, 8.5–26.3 months). Conclusions: TRC105 combined with sorafenib was well tolerated at the recommended single agent doses of both drugs. Encouraging evidence of activity to date (PR rate 25%) was observed, and the study is now continuing to recruit in the phase II stage as a multicenter study to confirm activity of the combination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4633-4641
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


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