A phase 1 study of TRC102, an inhibitor of base excision repair, and pemetrexed in patients with advanced solid tumors

Michael S. Gordon, Lee S. Rosen, David Mendelson, Ramesh K. Ramanathan, Jonathan Goldman, Lili Liu, Yan Xu, Stanton L. Gerson, Stephen P. Anthony, William D. Figg, Shawn Spencer, Bonne J. Adams, Charles P. Theuer, Bryan R. Leigh, Glen J. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Introduction TRC102 potentiates the activity of cancer therapies that induce base excision repair (BER) including antimetabolite and alkylating agents. TRC102 rapidly and covalently binds to apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites generated during BER, and TRC102-bound DNA causes topoisomerase II-dependent irreversible strand breaks and apoptosis. This study assessed the safety, maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of TRC102 alone and in combination with pemetrexed. Purpose Patients with advanced solid tumors received oral TRC102 daily for 4 days. Two weeks later, patients began standard-dose pemetrexed on day 1 in combination with oral TRC102 on days 1 to 4. The pemetrexed-TRC102 combination was repeated every 3 weeks until disease progression. Methods Twenty-eight patients were treated with TRC102 at 15, 30, 60 or 100 mg/m2/d. The MTD was exceeded at 100 mg/m2/d due to grade 3 anemia in 50 % of patients. TRC102 exposure increased in proportion to dose with a mean t1/2 of 28 h. A pharmacodynamic assay confirmed that TRC102 binds to pemetrexed-induced AP sites at all doses studied. Stable disease or better was achieved in 15 of 25 patients evaluable for response (60 %), including one patient with recurrent metastatic oropharyngeal carcinoma that expressed high levels of thymidylate synthase, who achieved a partial response and was progression free for 14 months. Conclusions When administered with pemetrexed, the maximum tolerated dose of oral TRC102 is 60 mg/m2/d for 4 days. Randomized controlled studies are planned to evaluate the clinical benefit of adding TRC102 to pemetrexed and other agents that induce BER.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Base excision repair
  • First-in-human
  • Methoxyamine
  • Pemetrexed
  • Phase 1
  • TRC102


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