Cancer Res Treat.  2021 Apr;53(2):471-479. 10.4143/crt.2020.577.

Targeting Hypoxia Using Evofosfamide and Companion Hypoxia Imaging of FMISO-PET in Advanced Biliary Tract Cancer

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Hypoxia is widely known as one of the mechanisms of chemoresistance and as an environmental condition which triggers invasion and metastasis of cancer. Evofosfamide is a hypoxia-activated prodrug of the cytotoxin bromo-isophosphoramide mustard conjugated with 2-nitroimidazole. Biliary tract cancer (BTC) is known to contain large hypoxic area. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of evofosfamide as a second-line treatment of advanced BTC.
Materials and Methods
Patients received evofosfamide at a dose of 340 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 of every 28-day cycle. Primary end-point was progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 4-months (4m-PFSR). Secondary end-points included overall survival (OS), PFS, disease control rate (DCR), metabolic response by 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET), hypoxic parameters evaluated by 18F-fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) PET and toxicity.
Twenty patients were treated with evofosfamide, with 16 response-evaluable patients. There was no objective response; stable disease was observed in nine patients, with a DCR of 56.25%. 4m-PFSR was 40.6%. Median PFS was 3.60 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.68 to 5.52). Median OS was 6.37 months (95% CI, 3.94 to 8.79). Reduction of tumor metabolic activity was observed in eight of 15 patients (53.3%). High baseline hypoxic parameters were associated with poor PFS. Change of hypoxic parameters between pretreatment and post-treatment reflected hypoxic-activated drug response. There was no treatment-related death.
Evofosfamide as second-line treatment of advanced BTC showed acceptable safety and comparable efficacy to other agents. Changes in volumetric parameters measured with FMISO PET, showing the degree of tumor hypoxia, reflected the response to evofosfamide based on the mode of action.


Biliary tract neoplasms; Chemotherapy; Phase II; TH302; Evofosfamide; Hypoxia
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