Phase I/II sequencing study of azacitidine, epacadostat, and pembrolizumab in advanced solid tumors

Jason J. Luke, Marwan Fakih, Charles Schneider, E. Gabriela Chiorean, Johanna Bendell, Rebecca Kristeleit, Razelle Kurzrock, Sarah P. Blagden, Irene Brana, Laura W. Goff, Kevin O’Hayer, Ryan Geschwindt, Michael Smith, Feng Zhou, Aung Naing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1), an interferon-inducible enzyme, contributes to tumor immune intolerance. Immune checkpoint inhibition may increase interferon levels; combining IDO1 inhibition with immune checkpoint blockade represents an attractive strategy. Epigenetic agents trigger interferon responses and may serve as an immunotherapy priming method. We evaluated whether epigenetic therapy plus IDO1 inhibition and immune checkpoint blockade confers clinical benefit to patients with advanced solid tumors. Methods: ECHO-206 was a Phase I/II study where treatment-experienced patients with advanced solid tumors (N = 70) received azacitidine plus an immunotherapy doublet (epacadostat [IDO1 inhibitor] and pembrolizumab). Sequencing of treatment was also assessed. Primary endpoints were safety/tolerability (Phase I), maximum tolerated dose (MTD) or pharmacologically active dose (PAD; Phase I), and investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR; Phase II). Results: In Phase I, no dose-limiting toxicities were reported, the MTD was not reached; a PAD was not determined. ORR was 5.7%, with four partial responses. The most common treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were fatigue (42.9%) and nausea (42.9%). Twelve (17.1%) patients experienced ≥1 fatal AE, one of which (asthenia) was treatment-related. Conclusions: Although the azacitidine-epacadostat-pembrolizumab regimen was well tolerated, it was not associated with substantial clinical response in patients with advanced solid tumors previously exposed to immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2227-2235
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number12
StatePublished - 29 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


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