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Carlumab, an anti-C-C chemokine ligand 2 monoclonal antibody, in combination with four chemotherapy regimens for the treatment of patients with solid tumors: an open-label, multicenter phase 1b study

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C-C chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) stimulates tumor growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis. Carlumab, a human IgG1κ anti-CCL2 mAb, has shown antitumor activity in preclinical and clinical trials. We conducted a first-in-human phase 1b study of carlumab with one of four chemotherapy regimens (docetaxel, gemcitabine, paclitaxel + carboplatin, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin HCl [PLD]). Patients had advanced solid tumors for which ≥1 of these regimens was considered standard of care or for whom no other treatment options existed. Dose-limiting toxicities included one grade 4 febrile neutropenia (docetaxel arm) and one grade 3 neutropenia (gemcitabine arm). Combination treatment with carlumab had no clinically relevant pharmacokinetic effect on docetaxel (n = 15), gemcitabine (n = 12), paclitaxel or carboplatin (n = 12), or PLD (n = 14). Total serum CCL2 concentrations increased post-treatment with carlumab alone, consistent with carlumab-CCL2 binding, and continued increase in the presence of all chemotherapy regimens. Free CCL2 declined immediately post-treatment with carlumab but increased with further chemotherapy administrations in all arms, suggesting that carlumab could sequester CCL2 for only a short time. Neither antibodies against carlumab nor consistent changes in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) or circulating endothelial cells (CECs) enumeration were observed. Three of 19 evaluable patients showed a 30 % decrease from baseline urinary cross-linked N-telopeptide of type I collagen (uNTx). One partial response and 18 (38 %) stable disease responses were observed. The most common drug-related grade ≥3 adverse events were docetaxel arm—neutropenia (6/15) and febrile neutropenia (4/15); gemcitabine arm—neutropenia (2/12); paclitaxel + carboplatin arm—neutropenia, thrombocytopenia (4/12 each), and anemia (2/12); and PLD arm—anemia (3/14) and stomatitis (2/14). Carlumab could be safely administered at 10 or 15 mg/kg in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy and was well-tolerated, although no long-term suppression of serum CCL2 or significant tumor responses were observed.

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Gianna Paone and Jennifer Han of Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, provided assistance with writing, editing, preparing, and submitting this manuscript. Janssen Research & Development, LLC, provided funding for the study. This trial was registered at, NCT01204996.

Conflict of interest

Drs. Puchalski, Seetharam, Zhong, and de Boer are employees of Janssen, own stock in Johnson & Johnson, and/or are currently conducting research sponsored by Janssen. Antonio Calles is a Rio Hortega fellowship grant recipient from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (CM09/00283). All remaining authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Carla J. de Boer.

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Brana, I., Calles, A., LoRusso, P.M. et al. Carlumab, an anti-C-C chemokine ligand 2 monoclonal antibody, in combination with four chemotherapy regimens for the treatment of patients with solid tumors: an open-label, multicenter phase 1b study. Targ Oncol 10, 111–123 (2015).

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