Elevated expression of AURKA adversely affects prognosis in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and ERBB2 (formerly HER2)-negative and triple-negative breast cancer and is associated with resistance to taxanes.
To compare paclitaxel alone vs paclitaxel plus alisertib in patients with ER-positive and ERBB2-negative or triple-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
Design, Setting, and Participants
In this randomized clinical trial conducted with the US Oncology Network, participants were randomized to intravenous (IV) paclitaxel 90 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 on a 28-day cycle or IV paclitaxel 60 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 plus oral alisertib 40 mg twice daily on days 1 to 3, 8 to 10, and 15 to 17 on a 28-day cycle. Stratification was by prior neo or adjuvant taxane and by line of metastatic therapy. Eligible patients were those who had undergone endocrine therapy, 0 or 1 prior chemotherapy regimens for MBC, more than 12 months treatment-free interval from neo or adjuvant taxane therapy, and with measurable or evaluable lytic bone-disease. Data were analyzed from March 2019 through May 2019.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The main outcome was progression-free survival (PFS) with secondary end points of overall survival (OS), overall response rate, clinical benefit rate, safety, and analysis of archival breast cancer tissues for molecular markers associated with benefit from alisertib.
A total of 174 patients were randomized, including with 86 randomized to paclitaxel and 88 patients randomized to paclitaxel plus alisertib, and 169 patients received study treatment. The final cohort included 139 patients with a median (interquartile range [IQR]) age of 62 (27-84) years with ER-positive and ERBB2-negative MBC, with 70 randomized to paclitaxel and 69 randomized to paclitaxel plus alisertib. The TNBC cohort closed with only 35 patients enrolled due to slow accrual and were not included in efficacy analyses. The median (IQR) follow-up was 22 (10.6-25.1) months, and median (IQR) PFS was 10.2 (3.8-15.7) months with paclitaxel plus alisertib vs 7.1 (3.8-10.6) months with paclitaxel alone (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37-0.84; P = .005). Median (IQR) OS was 26.3 (12.4-37.2) months for patients who received paclitaxel plus alisertib vs 25.1 (11.0-31.4) months for paclitaxel alone (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.58-1.38; P = .61). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 56 patients (84.8%) receiving paclitaxel plus alisertib vs 34 patients (48.6%) receiving paclitaxel alone. The main grade 3 or 4 adverse events with paclitaxel plus alisertib vs paclitaxel alone were neutropenia (50 patients [59.5%] vs 14 patients [16.4%]), anemia (8 patients [9.5%] vs 1 patient [1.2%]), diarrhea (9 patients [10.7%] vs 0 patients), and stomatitis or oral mucositis (13 patients [15.5%] vs 0 patients). One patient receiving paclitaxel plus alisertib died of sepsis.
Conclusions and Relevance
This randomized clinical trial found that the addition of oral alisertib to a reduced dose of weekly paclitaxel significantly improved PFS compared with paclitaxel alone, and toxic effects with paclitaxel plus alisertib were manageable with alisertib dose reduction. These data support further evaluation of alisertib in patients with ER-positive, ERBB2-negative MBC.