Purpose: Therapeutic strategies to enhance the efficacy of radioimmunotherapy have not been explored. Motexafin gadolinium is a novel anticancer agent that targets redox-dependent pathways and enhances sensitivity of tumor cells to ionizing radiation. Experimental Design: We did preclinical studies examining motexafin gadolinium combined with rituximab and/or radiation in lymphoma cells. We subsequently completed a phase I clinical trial combining escalating doses of motexafin gadolinium concurrently with standard [ 90Y]ibritumomab tiuxetan for patients with relapsed/refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Results: In HF1 lymphoma cells, motexafin gadolinium and rituximab resulted in synergistic cytotoxicity (combination index, 0.757) through a mitochondrial-mediated caspase-dependent pathway, whereas cell death in Ramos and SUDHL4 cells was additive. Motexafin gadolinium/rituximab combined with radiation (1-3 Gy) resulted in additive apoptosis. Twenty-eight of 30 patients were evaluable on the phase I clinical trial. Median age was 65 years (47-87 years), and histologies were marginal-zone (n = 1), mantle-cell (n = 3), diffuse large cell (n = 6), and follicular lymphoma (n = 18). Of all patients, 86% were rituximab refractory. Therapy was well tolerated, and no dose-limiting toxicity was seen. Overall response rate was 57% [complete remission (CR), 43%], with median time-to-treatment failure of 10 months (1-48+ months) and median duration-of-response of 17 months. Of note, all responses were documented at 4 weeks. Furthermore, in rituximab-refractory follicular lymphoma (n = 14), overall response rate was 86% (CR, 64%), with a median time-to-treatment failure of 14 months (2-48+ months). Conclusions: This represents the first report of a novel agent to be combined safely concurrently with radioimmunotherapy. Furthermore, tumor responses with [90Y]ibritumomab tiuxetan/motexafin gadolinium were prompt with a high rate of CRs, especially in rituximab-refractory follicular lymphoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research