The anti-neoplastic, pro-differentiative effects of bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) bromodomain (BRD) inhibitors were initially discovered in NUT midline carcinoma (NMC), an aggressive subtype of squamous cancer driven by the BRD4-NUT fusion oncoprotein. BRD4-NUT blocks differentiation and maintains tumor growth through a potent chromatin modifying mechanism. OTX015/MK-8628, a novel oral BET inhibitor, targets BRD2/3/4/T with preclinical activity in NMC and several other tumor types, and is currently in clinical development. Antitumor activity was evaluated in four advanced stage NMC patients with confirmed BRD4-NUT fusions who were treated with 80 mg OTX015/MK-8628 once daily in a compassionate-use context. Two patients responded rapidly with tumor regression and symptomatic relief, and a third had meaningful disease stabilization with a minor metabolic response. The main side effects were mild to moderate gastrointestinal toxicity and fatigue, and reversible grade 3 thrombocytopenia. This is the first proof-of-concept evidence of clinical activity of a bromodomain inhibitor in targeting BRD4-NUT.
- Received November 11, 2015.
- Revision received March 11, 2016.
- Accepted March 11, 2016.
- Copyright ©2016, American Association for Cancer Research.