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1.  Phase II Study of Alisertib, a Selective Aurora A Kinase Inhibitor, in Relapsed and Refractory Aggressive B- and T-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;32(1):44-50.
Aurora A kinase (AAK) is overexpressed in aggressive lymphomas and can correlate with more histologically aggressive forms of disease. We therefore designed a phase II study of alisertib, a selective AAK inhibitor, in patients with relapsed and refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
Patients and Methods
Patients age ≥ 18 years were eligible if they had relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL), transformed follicular lymphoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, or noncutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Alisertib was administered orally at 50 mg twice daily for 7 days in 21-day cycles.
We enrolled 48 patients. Histologies included DLBCL (n = 21), MCL (n = 13), peripheral T-cell lymphoma (n = 8), transformed follicular lymphoma (n = 5), and Burkitt's (n = 1). Most common grade 3 to 4 adverse events were neutropenia (63%), leukopenia (54%), anemia (35%), thrombocytopenia (33%), stomatitis (15%), febrile neutropenia (13%), and fatigue (6%). Four deaths during the study were attributed to progressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 2), treatment-related sepsis (n = 1), and unknown cause (n = 1). The overall response rate was 27%, including responses in three of 21 patients with DLBCL, three of 13 with MCL, one of one with Burkitt's lymphoma, two of five with transformed follicular lymphoma, and four of eight with noncutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The alisertib steady-state trough concentration (n = 25) revealed the expected pharmacokinetic variability, with a trend for higher incidence of adverse event–related dose reductions at higher trough concentrations. Analysis for AAK gene amplification and total AAK protein revealed no differences between histologies or correlation with clinical response.
The novel AAK inhibitor alisertib seems clinically active in both B- and T-cell aggressive lymphomas. On the basis of these results, confirmatory single-agent and combination studies have been initiated.
PMCID: PMC3867644  PMID: 24043741
2.  An exploratory phase 2 study of investigational Aurora A kinase inhibitor alisertib (MLN8237) in acute myelogenous leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes 
Leukemia Research Reports  2014;3(2):58-61.
Alisertib (MLN8237) is an investigational, oral, selective, Aurora A kinase (AAK) inhibitor. In this phase 2 trial, 57 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or high-grade myelodysplastic syndrome received alisertib 50 mg BID for 7 days in 21-day cycles. Responses in 6/35 AML patients (17% response rate with an additional 49% stable disease, 34% transfusion independence) included 1 complete response lasting >1 year. No responses were observed in MDS patients. Adverse events >30% included diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, febrile neutropenia, and stomatitis. Results suggest modest activity in AML, supporting further research to better understand how AAK inhibition may induce leukemic cell senescence.
•The efficacy and safety of alisertib, an AAK inhibitor, in AML/MDS was evaluated.•57 patients received alisertib 50 mg twice-daily for 7 days in 21-day cycles.•The ORR in AML was 17%, with 49% stable disease; no responses were observed in MDS.•Common AEs included diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, febrile neutropenia, and stomatitis.•Our results suggest that alisertib has modest single-agent activity in AML.
PMCID: PMC4110881  PMID: 25068104
Aurora A kinase inhibitor; Alisertib; Safety; Acute myeloid leukemia (AML); Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
3.  Phase 1 study of MLN8054, a selective inhibitor of Aurora A kinase in patients with advanced solid tumors 
Aurora A kinase is critical in assembly and function of the mitotic spindle. It is overexpressed in various tumor types and implicated in oncogenesis and tumor progression. This trial evaluated the dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of MLN8054, a selective small-molecule inhibitor of Aurora A kinase.
In this first-in-human, dose-escalation study, MLN8054 was given orally for 7, 14, or 21 days followed by a 14-day treatment-free period. Escalating cohorts of 3–6 patients with advanced solid tumors were treated until DLT was seen in ≥2 patients in a cohort. Serial blood samples were collected for pharmacokinetics and skin biopsies were collected for pharmacodynamics.
Sixty-one patients received 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40 mg once daily for 7 days; 25, 35, 45 or 55 mg/day in four divided doses (QID) for 7 days; or 55, 60, 70 or 80 mg/day plus methylphenidate or modafinil with daytime doses (QID/M) for 7–21 days. DLTs of reversible grade 3 benzodiazepine-like effects defined the estimated MTD of 60 mg QID/M for 14 days. MLN8054 was absorbed rapidly, exposure was dose-proportional, and terminal half-life was 30-40 hours. Three patients had stable disease for >6 cycles.
MLN8054 dosing for up to 14 days of a 28-day cycle was feasible. Reversible somnolence was dose limiting and prevented achievement of plasma concentrations predicted necessary for target modulation. A recommended dose for investigation in phase 2 trials was not established. A second-generation Aurora A kinase inhibitor is in development.
PMCID: PMC3026871  PMID: 20607239
MLN8054; Aurora A kinase; dose-limiting toxicity; pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics
5.  Safety biomarkers and the clinical development of oncology therapeutics: Considerations for cardiovascular safety and risk management 
The AAPS Journal  2006;8(1):E89-E94.
During the clinical development of oncology therapeutics, new safety biomarkers are being employed with broad applications and implications for risk management and regulatory approval. Clinical laboratory results, used as safety biomarkers, can influence decision making at many levels during the clinical development and regulatory review of investigational cancer therapies, including (1) initial eligibility for protocol therapy; (2) analyses used to estimate and characterize the safety profile; and (3) treatment delivery, based on specific rules to modify or discontinue protocol treatment. With the increasing applications of safety biomarkers in clinical studies, consideration must be given to possible unintended consequences, including (1) restricted access to promising treatments; (2) delays in study completion; and (3) limitations to dose delivery, escalation, and determination of the maximal tolerated dose, the recommended phase 2 dose, and the optimal biologic dose selected for registration studies. This review will compare and contrast 2 biomarkers for cardiac safety that are employed in an increasing number of clinical programs designed for investigational oncology therapeutics: (1) assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction by either echocardiography or multigated acquisition scan; and (2) electrophysiological measurement of QT/QTc duration, assessed by electrocardiogram, for predicting risk of a potentially fatal arrhythmia called torsades de pointes. While these and other new safety biomarkers have major value in the development of oncology therapeutics, their applications require careful consideration to avoid unintended consequences that could negatively affect (1) the care of patients with advanced malignancy and (2) the advancement of promising new agents.
PMCID: PMC2751426  PMID: 16584137
Safety biomarkers; oncology therapeutics; risk management; cardiotoxicity

Results 1-5 (5)