CT243 / 4 - Phase 1 study of TAK-676 + pembrolizumab following radiation therapy in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), or squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN)

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

AACR American Association for Cancer Research: Annual Meeting 2022


oregon; portland; chiles


Background: Radiation therapy has immune-modulating effects resulting from apoptosis of tumor cells and DNA damage. The downstream generation of cytosolic DNA activates the cyclic GMP-AMP Synthase (cGAS)-STimulator of INterferon Gene (STING) signaling axis in both tumor and nearby immune cells, leading to increased induction of type I interferon (IFN-I) and other immune stimulating molecules. TAK-676 is a novel synthetic STING agonist being investigated (+/- pembrolizumab) in an ongoing first-in-human phase 1 study (NCT04420884). TAK-676 is a potent modulator of the innate immune system and leads to downstream activation of the adaptive immune system to produce antitumor responses in preclinical studies. In contrast to intratumorally injected STING agonists, TAK-676 is optimally designed for reduced serum degradation and enhanced permeability, allowing systemic IV delivery and access to tumor sites and lymphatics. The addition of TAK-676 following radiation therapy may enhance the immune response by increasing the STING-mediated IFN-I release and further stimulate T cell-mediated antitumor immunity, particularly in combination with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies. Impaired IFN signaling has been linked to checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) resistance. Preclinical studies show that addition of a STING agonist may reverse the mechanisms of resistance in tumors with prior exposure to CPIs. This phase 1 trial was designed to investigate the safety and preliminary antitumor activity of TAK-676 + pembrolizumab following radiation therapy (NCT04879849).
Methods: Patients aged ≥18 years with advanced NSCLC, TNBC, or SCCHN who have progressed on CPIs with ≥2 lesions, one of which can be targeted with radiation, are being enrolled. Patients receive 8 Gy x 3 fractions of image-guided radiation therapy followed by (after a minimum of 40 hours) IV pembrolizumab 200 mg on day 1 plus escalating doses of IV TAK-676 on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 21-day cycle. TAK-676 dose escalation is guided by the Bayesian Optimal Interval design. Patients receive TAK-676 + pembrolizumab until disease progression, intolerance, or withdrawal of consent. Once pharmacologically active dose levels of TAK-676 have been observed, paired biopsies will be collected in patients with a safely accessible lesion outside the radiation field at screening and between days 15 and 21 of cycle 1. The primary objective is to determine the safety and tolerability of TAK-676 + pembrolizumab following radiation therapy; secondary objectives are to determine the recommended phase 2 dose of TAK-676 + pembrolizumab following radiation therapy, and to assess preliminary antitumor activity both locally (in the radiation field) and systemically (non-radiated lesions). As of January 2022, nearly 10% of the planned patients have been enrolled.

Clinical Institute





Earle A. Chiles Research Institute


Benjamin Cooper, Steven J. Chmura, Jason J. Luke, Stephen L. Shiao, Reva K. Basho, Wade T. Iams, David B. Page, Cong Li, Richard C. Gregory, Michael H. Shaw, Kristin H. Horn, John P. Gibbs, Vicky A. Appleman, Allison J. Berger, Adnan O. Abu-Yousif, Neil B. Lineberry, Kate F. Stumpo, Aymen Elfiky, Naamit K. Gerber. Department of Radiation Oncology, Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, Providence Cancer Institute, Portland, OR, Takeda Development Center Americas, Inc. (TDCA), Lexington, MA