ARTICLE ABSTRACTMavorixafor is an oral, selective inhibitor of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor that modulates immune cell trafficking. A biomarker-driven phase Ib study (NCT02823405) was conducted in 16 patients with melanoma to investigate the hypothesis that mavorixafor favorably modulates immune cell profiles in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and to evaluate the safety of mavorixafor alone and in combination with pembrolizumab.
Serial biopsies of melanoma lesions were assessed after 3 weeks of mavorixafor monotherapy and after 6 weeks of combination treatment for immune cell markers by NanoString analysis for gene expression and by multiplexed immunofluorescent staining for in situ protein expression. Serum samples taken at biopsy timepoints were evaluated for key chemokine and cytokine alterations using the Myriad Rules Based Medicine multiplex immunoassays.
Within the TME, mavorixafor alone increased CD8+ T-cell infiltration, granzyme B signal, antigen presentation machinery, and both tumor inflammatory signature (TIS) and IFNγ gene expression signature scores. Increases in the key serum cytokines CXCL9 and CXCL10 were further enhanced when mavorixafor was combined with pembrolizumab. Adverse events (AE), as assessed by the investigator according to NCI Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (v4.03), related to either mavorixafor or pembrolizumab (≥15%) were diarrhea, fatigue, maculopapular rash, and dry eye. Reported AEs were all ≤ grade 3.
Treatment with single-agent mavorixafor resulted in enhanced immune cell infiltration and activation in the TME, leading to increases in TIS and IFNγ gene signatures. Mavorixafor as a single agent, and in combination with pembrolizumab, has an acceptable safety profile. These data support further investigation of the use of mavorixafor for patients unresponsive to checkpoint inhibitors.
Despite survival improvements in patients with melanoma treated with checkpoint inhibitor therapy, a significant unmet medical need exists for therapies that enhance effectiveness. We propose that mavorixafor sensitizes the melanoma tumor microenvironment and enhances the activity of checkpoint inhibitors, and thereby may translate to a promising treatment for broader patient populations.