LIV-1, a transmembrane protein and downstream target of STAT3, is highly expressed in breast cancer cells. It is associated with lymph node involvement and metastatic progression. SGN-LIV1A is an anti-LIV-1 antibody conjugated via a protease-cleavable linker to monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE). Upon binding to cell-surface LIV-1, SGN-LIV1A is internalized and releases MMAE, which disrupts microtubulin and induces apoptosis.


This ongoing, phase 1 study evaluates safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of SGN-LIV1A (q3wks IV) in women with LIV-1-positive, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer (LA/MBC) (NCT01969643). Patients (pts) with measurable disease and ≥2 prior cytotoxic regimens for LA/MBC are eligible. Pts with ≥ Grade 2 neuropathy are excluded. Response is assessed per RECIST v1.1; pts with stable disease (SD) or better can continue treatment until disease progression or intolerable toxicity. At completion of dose escalation in hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative (HR+/HER2–) and triple-negative (TN) pts, expansion cohorts were opened to further evaluate safety and antitumor activity of monotherapy in TN pts. Tumor biopsies are evaluated for LIV-1 expression.


To date, 69 pts (18 HR+/HER2–, 51 TN) have received a median of 3 cycles (range, 1–12) of SGN-LIV1A at doses of 0.5–2.8 mg/kg. Median age was 56 yrs. Pts had a median of 3 prior cytotoxic regimens for LA/MBC; 58 had visceral disease and 37 had bone metastases. No dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) occurred in 19 DLT-evaluable pts; maximum tolerated dose was not exceeded at 2.8 mg/kg. Expansion cohorts of TN pts were opened at 2.0 and 2.5 mg/kg. Treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs) reported in ≥25% of pts were fatigue (59%), nausea (51%), peripheral neuropathy (44%), alopecia (36%), decreased appetite (33%), constipation (30%), abdominal pain, diarrhea, and neutropenia (25% each). Most AEs were Grade 1/2; AEs ≥ Grade 3 included neutropenia (25%) and anemia (15%). Febrile neutropenia occurred in 2 pts whose total dose exceeded 200 mg per cycle, including 1 treatment-related death due to sepsis. No other treatment-related deaths occurred on-study. Seven pts discontinued treatment due to AEs. In dose escalation, activity was observed in 17 efficacy evaluable (EE) HR+/HER2- pts, with a disease control rate (DCR= CR+PR+SD) of 59% (10 SD), including 1 pt with SD ≥24 wks. Among the 44 EE TN pts (dose escalation plus expansion cohorts), the objective response rate (ORR) was 32% (14 PR) with a confirmed PR rate of 21%, DCR was 64% (14 PR, 14 SD), and clinical benefit rate (CBR=CR+PR+SD ≥24 wks) was 36% (16 pts). For TN pts, median PFS was 11.3 wks (95% CI: 6.1, 17.1); 10 pts remain on treatment.

Of 631 MBC tumor samples of all clinical subtypes evaluated for LIV-1, 91% were positive; 75% had moderate-to-high expression (H-score ≥100).


LIV-1 is expressed in almost all MBC tumors. SGN-LIV1A monotherapy was generally well tolerated and showed encouraging antitumor activity in heavily pretreated TN MBC, with a PR rate of 32%, confirmed PR rate of 21%, and CBR (≥24 wks) of 36%. Response duration data continue to evolve. Enrollment continues in the TN monotherapy expansion cohort.

Citation Format: Modi S, Pusztai L, Forero A, Mita M, Miller KD, Weise A, Krop I, Burris III H, Kalinsky K, Tsai M, Liu MC, Hurvitz SA, Wilks S, Ademuyiwa F, Diab S, Han HS, Kato G, Nanda R, O'Shaughnessy J, Kostic A, Li M, Specht J. Phase 1 study of the antibody-drug conjugate SGN-LIV1A in patients with heavily pretreated triple-negative metastatic breast cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; 2017 Dec 5-9; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(4 Suppl):Abstract nr PD3-14.