A novel single-dose regimen of 300 mg tremelimumab in combination with durvalumab [Single Tremelimumab Regular Interval Durvalumab (STRIDE)] has demonstrated a favorable benefit-risk profile in the phase I/II Study 22 (NCT02519348) and phase III HIMALAYA study (NCT03298451). This study evaluated the pharmacokinetics, exposure–response, and exposure–pharmacodynamics relationships of tremelimumab in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC).
A previous tremelimumab population pharmacokinetic model was validated using data from parts 2 and 3 of Study 22. Exposure–response analyses explored relationships of tremelimumab exposure with efficacy and safety. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics relationships were evaluated using linear and nonlinear regression models.
The observed pharmacokinetics of tremelimumab in uHCC were consistent with predictions; no significant covariates were identified. Tremelimumab exposure was not significantly associated with adverse events, objective response rate, or progression-free survival. Overall survival (OS) was longer for patients with tremelimumab exposure, minimum serum drug concentration (Cmin1) ≥ median versus Cmin1 < median (18.99 months vs. 10.97 months), but this exposure-survival analysis might be confounded with baseline characteristics of albumin level and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, which had a significant impact on OS (P = 0.0004 and 0.0001, respectively). The predicted Cmin1 of tremelimumab in STRIDE regimen (12.9 μg/mL) was greater than the estimated concentration of tremelimumab eliciting half-maximal increases (EC50 = 5.24 μg/mL) in CD8+Ki67+ T-cell counts.
Our findings support novel insights into tremelimumab pharmacokinetics and exposure–response relationships in HCC and support the clinical utility of the STRIDE regimen in patients with uHCC.