Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

Activity of MM-398, nanoliposomal irinotecan (nal-IRI), in Ewing's family tumor xenografts is associated with high exposure of tumor to drug and high SLFN11 expression.

PMID 25733708


To determine the pharmacokinetics and the antitumor activity in pediatric cancer models of MM-398, a nanoliposomal irinotecan (nal-IRI). Mouse plasma and tissue pharmacokinetics of nal-IRI and the current clinical formulation of irinotecan were characterized. In vivo activity of irinotecan and nal-IRI was compared in xenograft models (3 each in nu/nu mice) of Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors (EFT), neuroblastoma (NB), and rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). SLFN11 expression was assessed by Affymetrix HuEx arrays, Taqman RT-PCR, and immunoblotting. Plasma and tumor concentrations of irinotecan and SN-38 (active metabolite) were approximately 10-fold higher for nal-IRI than for irinotecan. Two doses of NAL-IRI (10 mg/kg/dose) achieved complete responses maintained for >100 days in 24 of 27 EFT-xenografted mice. Event-free survival for mice with RMS and NB was significantly shorter than for EFT. High SLFN11 expression has been reported to correlate with sensitivity to DNA damaging agents; median SLFN11 mRNA expression was >100-fold greater in both EFT cell lines and primary tumors compared with NB or RMS cell lines or primary tumors. Cytotoxicity of SN-38 inversely correlated with SLFN11 mRNA expression in 20 EFT cell lines. In pediatric solid tumor xenografts, nal-IRI demonstrated higher systemic and tumor exposures to SN-38 and improved antitumor activity compared with the current clinical formulation of irinotecan. Clinical studies of nal-IRI in pediatric solid tumors (especially EFT) and correlative studies to determine if SLFN11 expression can serve as a biomarker to predict nal-IRI clinical activity are warranted.