Purpose: Vorolanib is a multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitor with anti-angiogenic properties. This study aimed to evaluate the tolerability, safety and efficacy of vorolanib when added to checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) in patients with advanced solid tumors. Methods: We conducted a phase 1b study of vorolanib (300 or 400 mg orally once daily) plus pembrolizumab or nivolumab using a standard 3 + 3 design to determine the dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D). The endpoints included safety, toxicity and objective response rate, according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1 (RECIST 1.1). Results: Sixteen patients (9 in pembrolizumab arm, 7 in nivolumab arm) with gastrointestinal or lung cancers were enrolled. All patients had at least 1 treatment-related adverse event (TRAE). The most common TRAEs across all cohorts were lymphopenia (n = 7), leukopenia (n = 5), fatigue (n = 5), and alanine aminotransferase elevation (n = 5); most toxicities were grade (G) 1–2. DLTs were reported in 3 patients at vorolanib 400 mg dose level, with G3 aspartate aminotransferase elevation, G3 rectal hemorrhage, and G3 rash. Of 13 total response-evaluable patients, 2 patients had confirmed partial responses (1 rectal squamous cell cancer and 1 small cell lung cancer). Two patients achieved prolonged stable disease. Vorolanib 300 mg daily was determined to be the RP2D for either pembrolizumab or nivolumab. Conclusion: Combination vorolanib 300 mg orally once daily plus CPI appears to be a feasible regimen with manageable toxicity and promising efficacy in select tumor types. NCT03511222. Date of Registration: April 18, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-497
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Advanced solid tumors
  • Checkpoint inhibitors
  • Immunotherapy
  • Nivolumab
  • Pembrolizumab
  • Vorolanib


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