Introduction: DLL3, an atypical Notch ligand, is expressed in SCLC tumors but is not detectable in normal adult tissues. Rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T) is an antibody-drug conjugate containing a DLL3-targeting antibody tethered to a cytotoxic agent pyrrolobenzodiazepine by means of a protease-cleavable linker. The efficacy and safety of Rova-T compared with topotecan as second-line therapy in patients with SCLC expressing high levels of DLL3 (DLL3-high) was evaluated. Methods: The TAHOE study was an open-label, two-to-one randomized, phase 3 study comparing Rova-T with topotecan as second-line therapy in DLL3-high advanced or metastatic SCLC. Rova-T (0.3 mg/kg) was administered intravenously on day 1 of a 42-day cycle for two cycles, with two additional cycles available to patients who met protocol-defined criteria for continued dosing. Topotecan (1.5 mg/m2) was administered intravenously on days 1 to 5 of a 21-day cycle. The primary end point was overall survival (OS). Results: Patients randomized to Rova-T (n = 296) and topotecan (n = 148) were included in the efficacy analyses. The median age was 64 years, and 77% had the extensive disease at initial diagnosis. The median OS (95% confidence interval) was 6.3 months (5.6–7.3) in the Rova-T arm and 8.6 months (7.7–10.1) in the topotecan arm (hazard ratio, 1.46 [95% confidence interval: 1.17–1.82]). An independent data monitoring committee recommended that enrollment be discontinued because of the shorter OS observed with Rova-T compared with topotecan. Safety profiles for both drugs were consistent with previous reports. Conclusions: Compared with topotecan, which is the current standard second-line chemotherapy, Rova-T exhibited an inferior OS and higher rates of serosal effusions, photosensitivity reaction, and peripheral edema in patients with SCLC. A considerable unmet therapeutic need remains in this population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine