New publication: First-in-patient study of OTL78 for intraoperative fluorescence imaging of prostate-specific membrane antigen-positive prostate cancer: a single-arm, phase 2a, feasibility trial

Background: Targeted real-time imaging during robot-assisted radical prostatectomy provides information on the localisation and extent of prostate cancer. We assessed the safety and feasibility of the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted fluorescent tracer OTL78 in patients with prostate cancer.

Methods: In this single-arm, phase 2a, feasibility trial with an adaptive design was carried out in The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Netherlands. Male patients aged 18 years or older, with PSMA PET-avid prostate cancer with an International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) grade group of 2 or more, who were scheduled to undergo robot-assisted radical prostatectomy with or without extended pelvic lymph node dissection were eligible. All patients had a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy using OTL78. Based on timing and dose, patients received a single intravenous infusion of OTL78 (0·06 mg/kg 1-2 h before surgery [dose cohort 1], 0·03 mg/kg 1-2 h before surgery [dose cohort 2], or 0·03 mg/kg 24 h before surgery [dose cohort 3]). The primary outcomes, assessed in all enrolled patients, were safety and pharmacokinetics of OTL78. This study is completed and is registered in the European Trial Database, 2019-002393-31, and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, NL8552, and is completed.

Findings: Between June 29, 2020, and April 1, 2021, 19 patients were screened for eligibility, 18 of whom were enrolled. The median age was 69 years (IQR 64-70) and median prostate-specific antigen concentration was 15 ng/mL (IQR 9·3-22·0). In 16 (89%) of 18 patients, robot-assisted radical prostatectomy was accompanied by an extended pelvic lymph node dissection. Three serious adverse events occurred in one (6%) patient: an infected lymphocele, a urosepsis, and an intraperitoneal haemorrhage. These adverse events were considered unrelated to the administration of OTL78 or intraoperative fluorescence imaging. No patient died, required a dose reduction, or required discontinuation due to drug-related toxicity. The dose-normalised maximum serum concentration (Cmax/dose) in patients was 84·1 ng/mL/mg for the 0·03 mg/kg dose and 79·6 ng/mL/mg for the 0·06 mg/kg dose, the half-life was 5·1 h for the 0·03 mg/kg dose and 4·7 h for the 0·06 mg/kg dose, the volume of distribution was 22·9 L for the 0·03 mg/kg dose and 19·5 L for the 0·06 mg/kg dose, and the clearance was 3·1 L/h for the 0·03 mg/kg dose and 3·0 L/h for the 0·06 mg/kg dose.

Interpretation: This first-in-patient study showed that OTL78 was well tolerated and had the potential to improve prostate cancer detection. Optimal dosing was 0·03 mg/kg, 24 h preoperatively. PSMA-directed fluorescence imaging allowed real-time identification of visually occult prostate cancer and might help to achieve complete oncological resections.

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