Purpose: The PARP inhibitor veliparib delays DNA repair and potentiates cytotoxicity of multiple classes of chemotherapy drugs, including topoisomerase I inhibitors and platinating agents. This study evaluated veliparib incorporation into leukemia induction therapy using a previously described topotecan/carboplatin backbone.
Experimental Design: Employing a 3+3 trial design, we administered escalating doses of veliparib combined with topotecan + carboplatin in relapsed or refractory acute leukemias, aggressive myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML).
Results: A total of 99 patients received veliparib 10–100 mg orally twice daily on days 1–8, 1–14, or 1–21 along with continuous infusion topotecan 1.0–1.2 mg/m2/d + carboplatin 120–150 mg/m2/d on days 3–7. The MTD was veliparib 80 mg twice daily for up to 21 days with topotecan 1.2 mg/m2/d + carboplatin 150 mg/m2/d. Mucositis was dose limiting and correlated with high veliparib concentrations. The response rate was 33% overall (33/99: 14 CR, 11 CRi, 8 PR) but was 64% (14/22) for patients with antecedent or associated aggressive MPNs or CMML. Leukemias with baseline DNA repair defects, as evidenced by impaired DNA damage–induced FANCD2 monoubiquitination, had improved survival [HR = 0.56 (95% confidence interval, 0.27–0.92)]. A single 80-mg dose of veliparib, as well as veliparib in combination with topotecan + carboplatin, induced DNA damage as manifested by histone H2AX phosphorylation in CD34+ leukemia cells, with greater phosphorylation in cells from responders.
Conclusions: The veliparib/topotecan/carboplatin combination warrants further investigation, particularly in patients with aggressive MPNs, CMML, and MPN- or CMML-related acute leukemias. Clin Cancer Res; 23(4); 899–907. ©2016 AACR.
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