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Phase 2 Study of the Anti-Angiogenesis Agent Axitinib (AG-013736) in Patients With Stage III Malignant Melanoma

Phase 2
18 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Melanoma, Malignant Melanoma

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Trial Information

Phase 2 Study of the Anti-Angiogenesis Agent Axitinib (AG-013736) in Patients With Stage III Malignant Melanoma

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 68,720 new cases of melanoma
(29,900 in men and 25,200 in women) annually in the United States, and about 8,650 people
will die from this cancer. The systemic therapy of advanced disease remains palliative
until new agents are found that might improve the survival of patients with stage III
melanoma. However, because large-scale clinical trials are often necessary to demonstrate
the safety and effectiveness of a drug, it is desirable to determine if new agents provide
some measure of effectiveness of these new agents prior to investing in such studies.

Melanomas are often vascular, and a decrease in the number of blood vessels that supply the
tumor may starve it of needed nutrients. An approach to blocking the growth of blood
vessels that supply the tumor is to inhibit the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor
tyrosine kinase (VEGFR TK) signaling pathway. Axitinib (AG 013736) is a VEGFR TK inhibitor.
Besides having the potential to block the growth of blood vessels (angiogenesis) through
VEGFR TK inhibition, Axitinib also has the additional antitumor potential through platelet
derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) TK inhibition.

Because of the poor prognosis of patients with stage III melanoma and indications that
anti-angiogenesis compounds might have clinically meaningful activity in this disease, a
Phase 2 trial of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (VEGFR TK)
inhibitor Axitinib (AG 013736) is warranted to determine its activity and tolerability for
Stage III melanoma. As a Phase 2 open label study of Axitinib, each consented patient who
meets all inclusion criteria will initially receive 5 mg orally twice daily. Study tests,
procedures and monitoring will be performed throughout the study to determine therapy
response rate and patient safety.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Histologically documented melanoma with local lymph node stage III metastases.

- No prior systemic therapy. Prior adjuvant therapy with interferon does not count.

- No expectation of further effects of prior anticancer therapy.

- At least 1 target lesion, as defined by RECIST (Appendix C), that has not been
irradiated. New lesions that have developed in a previously irradiated field may be
used as sites of measurable disease assuming all other criteria are met. All target
lesions must have a unidimensional diameter of at least 1 cm for spiral CT scans if
the reconstruction algorithm is 0.5 cm), or an SUV value ≥ 2.5. Baseline
measurements/evaluations must be completed within 4 weeks prior to treatment.

- Adequate bone marrow, hepatic, and renal function documented within 14 days prior to
treatment as documented by:

- absolute neutrophil count (ANC, calculated as the absolute number of neutrophils
and bands) ≥1.5 x 109 cells/L

- platelets ≥100 x 109 cells /L

- AST and ALT ≤2.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN), unless there are liver
metastases in which case AST and ALT ≤5.0 x ULN

- total bilirubin ≤1.5 x ULN

- serum creatinine ≤1.5 x ULN or calculated creatinine clearance ≥60 mL/min

- urinary protein <2+ by urine dipstick. If dipstick is ≥2+ then a 24-hour urine
collection can be done and the patient may enter only if urinary protein is <2 g
per 24 hours

- Age ≥18 years.

- ECOG performance status of 0 or 1

- No evidence of preexisting uncontrolled hypertension as documented by 2 baseline
blood pressure readings taken at least 1 hour apart. The baseline systolic blood
pressure readings must be ≤140, and the baseline diastolic blood pressure readings
must be ≤90. Patients whose hypertension is controlled by antihypertensive therapies
are eligible.

- Women of childbearing potential must have a negative serum or urine pregnancy test
within 7 days prior to treatment.

- Written and voluntary informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

- Stage IV disease

- History of hemoptysis

- Gastrointestinal abnormalities including:

- inability to take oral medication

- requirement for intravenous alimentation

- prior surgical procedures affecting absorption including gastric resection

- treatment for active peptic ulcer disease in the past 6 months

- active gastrointestinal bleeding, unrelated to cancer, as evidenced by
hematemesis, hematochezia or melena in the past 3 months without evidence of
resolution documented by endoscopy or colonoscopy.

- malabsorption syndromes.

- Previous treatment with anti-angiogenesis agents including thalidomide, or inhibitors
of epidermoid growth factor (EGF), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), or
fibroblast growth factors (FGF) receptors.

- Current use or anticipated inability to avoid use of drugs that are known potent
CYP3A4 inhibitors (ie, grapefruit juice, verapamil, ketoconazole, miconazole,
itraconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin, ergot derivatives, indinavir, saquinavir,
ritonavir, nelfinavir, lopinavir, and delavirdine).

- Current use or anticipated inability to avoid use of drugs that are known CYP3A4 or
CYP1A2 inducers (ie, carbamazepine, dexamethasone, felbamate, omeprazole,
phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rifabutin, rifampin, and St. John's wort).

- Active seizure disorder or evidence of brain metastases. (Appropriate imaging should
be done to rule out brain metastases.)

- A serious uncontrolled medical disorder or active infection that would impair their
ability to receive study treatment.

- History of a malignancy (other than melanoma) except those treated with curative
intent for skin cancer (other than melanoma) or in situ breast or cervical cancer or
those treated with curative intent for any other cancer with no evidence of disease
for 5 years.

- 10. Major surgical procedure or any radiation therapy within 4 weeks of treatment,
minimum rest period is 28 days post surgery; maximum rest period 56 days post

- Dementia or significantly altered mental status that would prohibit the understanding
or rendering of informed consent and compliance with the requirements of this

- Patients (male and female) having procreative potential who are not using adequate
contraception or practicing abstinence.

- Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

To determine progression-free survival (PFS)

Outcome Description:

The primary objective of this study is to determine the activity of AG-013736 in metastatic melanoma as measured by the overall response rate, complete response (CR) and partial response (PR) by RECIST. A response will also be considered to have occurred if there is a >/= 30% reduction in the involved nodal basin specific uptake value (SUV) on PET/CT.

Outcome Time Frame:

2 years

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

John P. Fruehauf, MD, PhD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center


United States: Food and Drug Administration

Study ID:

UCI 10-55



Start Date:

December 2011

Completion Date:

December 2017

Related Keywords:

  • Melanoma
  • Malignant Melanoma
  • Melanoma
  • Axitinib
  • Anti-angiogenesis
  • Neoadjuvant Melanoma
  • Melanoma



Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Orange, California  92868