Background: NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is a two-electron oxidoreductase expressed in multiple tumour types. ARQ 761 is a β-lapachone (β-lap) analogue that exploits the unique elevation of NQO1 found in solid tumours to cause tumour-specific cell death. Methods: We performed a 3+3 dose escalation study of 3 schedules (weekly, every other week, 2/3 weeks) of ARQ 761 in patients with refractory advanced solid tumours. Tumour tissue was analysed for NQO1 expression. After 20 patients were analysed, enrolment was restricted to patients with NQO1-high tumours (H-score ≥ 200). Results: A total of 42 patients were treated. Median number of prior lines of therapy was 4. Maximum tolerated dose was 390 mg/m2 as a 2-h infusion every other week. Dose-limiting toxicity was anaemia. The most common treatment-related adverse events were anaemia (79%), fatigue (45%), hypoxia (33%), nausea (17%), and vomiting (17%). Transient grade 3 hypoxia, reflecting possible methemoglobinaemia, occurred in 26% of patients. Among 32 evaluable patients, best response was stable disease (n = 12); 6 patients had tumour shrinkage. There was a trend towards improved efficacy in NQO1-high tumours (P = 0.06). Conclusions: ARQ 761 has modest single-agent activity, which appears associated with tumour NQO1 expression. Principal toxicities include anaemia and possible methemoglobinaemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research