A phase 1 clinical trial of single-agent selinexor in acute myeloid leukemia

Ramiro Garzon, Michael Savona, Rachid Baz, Michael Andreeff, Nashat Gabrail, Martin Gutierrez, Lynn Savoie, Paul Morten Mau-Sorensen, Nina Wagner-Johnston, Karen Yee, Thaddeus J. Unger, Jean-Richard Saint-Martin, Robert Carlson, Tami Rashal, Trinayan Kashyap, Boris Klebanov, Sharon Shacham, Michael Kauffman and Richard Stone

Key Points

  • Selinexor is a novel XPO1 inhibitor.

  • Selinexor was safe and efficacious in relapsed or refractory AML.

Publisher's Note: There is an Inside Blood Commentary on this article in this issue.


Selinexor is a novel, first-in-class, selective inhibitor of nuclear export compound, which blocks exportin 1 (XPO1) function, leads to nuclear accumulation of tumor suppressor proteins, and induces cancer cell death. A phase 1 dose-escalation study was initiated to examine the safety and efficacy of selinexor in patients with advanced hematological malignancies. Ninety-five patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) were enrolled between January 2013 and June 2014 to receive 4, 8, or 10 doses of selinexor in a 21- or 28-day cycle. The most frequently reported adverse events (AEs) in patients with AML were grade 1 or 2 constitutional and gastrointestinal toxicities, which were generally manageable with supportive care. The only nonhematological grade 3/4 AE, occurring in >5% of the patient population, was fatigue (14%). There were no reported dose-limiting toxicities or evidence of cumulative toxicity. The recommended phase 2 dose was established at 60 mg (∼35 mg/m2) given twice weekly in a 4-week cycle based on the totality of safety and efficacy data. Overall, 14% of the 81 evaluable patients achieved an objective response (OR) and 31% percent showed ≥50% decrease in bone marrow blasts from baseline. Patients achieving an OR had a significant improvement in median progression-free survival (PFS) (5.1 vs 1.3 months; P = .008; hazard ratio [HR], 3.1) and overall survival (9.7 vs 2.7 months; P = .01; HR, 3.1) compared with nonresponders. These findings suggest that selinexor is safe as a monotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory AML and have informed subsequent phase 2 clinical development. This trial was registered at as #NCT01607892.

  • Submitted November 7, 2016.
  • Accepted March 6, 2017.
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