First-in-humans trial of an RNA interference therapeutic targeting VEGF and KSP in cancer patients with liver involvement

Josep Tabernero, Geoffrey I. Shapiro, Patricia M. LoRusso, Andres Cervantes, Gary K. Schwartz, Glen J. Weiss, Luis Paz-Ares, Daniel C. Cho, Jeffrey R. Infante, Maria Alsina, Mrinal M. Gounder, Rick Falzone, Jamie Harrop, Amy C.Seila White, Iva Toudjarska, David Bumcrot, Rachel E. Meyers, Gregory Hinkle, Nenad Svrzikapa, Renta M. HutabaratValerie A. Clausen, Jeffrey Cehelsky, Saraswathy V. Nochur, Christina Gamba-Vitalo, Akshay K. Vaishnaw, Dinah W.Y. Sah, Jared A. Gollob, Howard A. Burris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

556 Citations (Scopus)


RNA interference (RNAi) is a potent and specific mechanism for regulating gene expression. Harnessing RNAi to silence genes involved in disease holds promise for the development of a new class of therapeutics. Delivery is key to realizing the potential of RNAi, and lipid nanoparticles (LNP) have proved effective in delivery of siRNAs to the liver and to tumors in animals. To examine the activity and safety of LNP-formulated siRNAs in humans, we initiated a trial of ALN-VSP, an LNP formulation of siRNAs targeting VEGF and kinesin spindle protein (KSP), in patients with cancer. Here, we show detection of drug in tumor biopsies, siRNA-mediated mRNA cleavage in the liver, pharmacodynamics suggestive of target downregulation, and antitumor activity, including complete regression of liver metastases in endometrial cancer. In addition, we show that biweekly intravenous administration of ALN-VSP was safe and well tolerated. These data provide proof-of-concept for RNAi therapeutics in humans and form the basis for further development in cancer. Significance: The findings in this report show safety, pharmacokinetics, RNAi mechanism of action, and clinical activity with a novel first-in-class LNP-formulated RNAi therapeutic in patients with cancer. The ability to harness RNAi to facilitate specific multitargeting, as well as increase the number of druggable targets, has important implications for future drug development in oncology. ©2013 American Association for Cancer Research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-417
JournalCancer Discovery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'First-in-humans trial of an RNA interference therapeutic targeting VEGF and KSP in cancer patients with liver involvement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this