First-in-man Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Gene Therapy for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer: Safety, Biodistribution, and Preliminary Clinical Findings.

Mar 3, 2015

Authors: Louis Buscail, Barbara Bournet, Fabienne Vernejoul, Gilles Cambois, Hubert Lulka, Naïma Hanoun, Marlène Dufresne, Aline Meulle, Alix Vignolle-Vidoni, Laetitia Ligat, Nathalie Saint-Laurent, Frédéric Pont, Sébastien Dejean, Marion Gayral, Frédéric Martins, Jérôme Torrisani, Odile Barbey, Fabian Gross, Rosine Guimbaud, Philippe Otal, Frédéric Lopez, Gérard Tiraby and Pierre Cordelier.

Article in Molecular Therapy (2015); doi:10.1038/mt.2015.1.

Abstract: This phase 1 trial was aimed to determine the safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary clinical activity of CYL-02, a nonviral gene therapy product that sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to chemotherapy. CYL-02 was administrated using endoscopic ultrasound in 22 patients with pancreatic cancer that concomitantly received chemotherapy (gemcitabine). The maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) exceeded the maximal feasible dose of CYL-02 and was not identified. Treatment-related toxicities were mild, without serious adverse events. Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed a dose-dependent increase in CYL-02 DNA exposure in blood and tumors, while therapeutic RNAs were detected in tumors. No objective response was observed, but nine patients showed stable disease up to 6 months following treatment and two of these patients experienced long-term survival. Panels of plasmatic microRNAs and proteins were identified as predictive of gene therapy efficacy. We demonstrate that CYL-02 nonviral gene therapy has a favorable safety profile and is well tolerated in patients. We characterize CYL-02 biodistribution and demonstrate therapeutic gene expression in tumors. Treated patients experienced stability of disease and predictive biomarkers of response to treatment were identified. These promising results warrant further evaluation in phase 2 clinical trial.