First-in-Human Proof-of-Concept Study: Intralesional Administration of BQ788, an Endothelin Receptor B Antagonist, to Melanoma Skin Metastases

Wouters, Jasper; Hunger, Robert; Garrod, Terence; Dubuis, Benoit; Hunziker, Thomas; van den Oord, Joost J; Lahav-le Coutre, Ronit (2015). First-in-Human Proof-of-Concept Study: Intralesional Administration of BQ788, an Endothelin Receptor B Antagonist, to Melanoma Skin Metastases. Oncologist, 20(10), pp. 1121-1122. AlphaMed Press 10.1634/theoncologist.2015-0139

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BACKGROUND This first-in-human proof-of-concept study aimed to check whether safety and preclinical results obtained by intratumoral administration of BQ788, an endothelin receptor B (EDNRB) antagonist, can be repeated in human melanoma patients. METHODS Three patients received a single intralesional BQ788 application of 3 mg. After 3-7 days, the lesions were measured and removed for analysis. The administered dose was increased to a cumulative dosage of 8 mg in patient 4 (4 × 2.0 mg, days 0-3; lesion removed on day 4) and to 10 mg in patient 5 (3 × 3.3 mg, days 0, 3, and 10; lesion removed after 14 days). Control lesions were simultaneously treated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). All samples were processed and analyzed without knowledge of the clinical findings. RESULTS No statistical evaluation was possible because of the number of patients (n = 5) and the variability in the mode of administration. No adverse events were observed, regardless of administered dose. All observations were in accordance with results obtained in preclinical studies. Accordingly, no difference in degree of tumor necrosis was detected between BQ788- and PBS-treated samples. In addition, both EDNRB and Ki67 showed decreased expression in patients 2 and 5 and, to a lesser extent, in patient 1. Similarly, decreased expression of EDNRB mRNA in patients 2 and 5 and of BCL2A1 and/or PARP3 in patients 2, 3, and 5 was found. Importantly, semiquantitatively scored immunohistochemistry for CD31 and CD3 revealed more blood vessels and lymphocytes, respectively, in BQ788-treated tumors of patients 2 and 4. Also, in all patients, we observed inverse correlation in expression levels between EDNRB and HIF1A. Finally, in patient 5 (the only patient treated for longer than 1 week), we observed inhibition in lesion growth, as shown by size measurement. CONCLUSION The intralesional applications of BQ788 were well tolerated and showed signs of directly and indirectly reducing the viability of melanoma cells.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Dermatology

UniBE Contributor:

Hunger, Robert and Hunziker, Thomas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




AlphaMed Press




Sandra Nyffenegger

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2016 15:22

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2016 15:22

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