Uveal melanomas (UM) constitute the most common primary intraocular tumors in adults and are characterized by a constitutive activation of the MAPK pathway due to mutations of the GTPase genes GNAQ or GNA11 in almost 80% of cases. The most commonly used treatments for UM are alkylating agents such as dacarbazine (DTIC) and temozolomide (TMZ). The MEK1/2 inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244; ARRY-142886) has shown clinical activity compared to DTIC/TMZ in a recent Phase II clinical trial and has recently completed a Phase III clinical trial in combination with DTIC (NCT01974752). In parallel with this trial we sought to evaluate the efficacy of DTIC + selumetinib in UM patient-derived xenografts (PDXs).

Three models were included in the study (MP34, MP55, and MM26), all bearing a GNAQ or GNA11 mutation. Selumetinib was administered orally at 25 mg/kg/day, 5 days a week, and DTIC at a dose of 40 mg/kg/day on Days 1 to 5 every 4 weeks.

A significant tumor growth inhibition (TGI) of 54% was observed in the MP34 model but not in the two remaining PDXs. In one model, MM26, DTIC induced a strong TGI of about 99% with 6/9 complete remissions (CRs). The combination of selumetinib + DTIC did not significantly increase efficacy compared to monotherapy in any of the models; in the MM26 PDX, the combination induced a similar TGI (99%) and CR rate (5/9) as DTIC alone. In this experiment, after two courses of DTIC + selumetinib, selumetinib was continued alone, showing a significant increased growth delay (p<10-3 at Day 113), compared with DTIC alone. Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and molecular studies on the three UM PDXs are ongoing.

In conclusion, we have observed that response of UM PDX models to DTIC was not increased when combined with selumetinib; these results are similar to those seen in the Phase III study of this drug combination. The observation that MEK inhibition was effective in delaying progression in the DTIC-sensitive PDX and published clinical studies demonstrating MEK inhibitor monotherapy activity indicate that MEK inhibition may have value as a treatment for UM; perhaps in the adjuvant setting in two specific clinical situations, i.e. patients with irradiated or enucleated high-risk primary intraocular or surgically resected metastatic UM.

Citation Format: Béré Diallo, Gerald Massonnet, Rania El-Botty, Chloé Raymondie, Guillaume Carita, Sergio Roman-Roman, Paul Smith, Emma Davies, Didier Decaudin, Fariba Némati. The MEK1/2 inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244; ARRY-142886) appears as an efficient targeted therapy when used in an adjuvant setting in patient-derived xenografts of uveal melanoma. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2016 Apr 16-20; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2016;76(14 Suppl):Abstract nr 2087.