Phase II Study of Olaparib and Pembrolizumab in Advanced Melanoma With Homologous Recombination (HR) Mutation

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
Updated on 14 May 2021


This open-label phase II trial studies how well olaparib in combination with pembrolizumab works in treating patients with advanced, metastatic melanoma with the homologous recombination (HR) pathway gene mutation / alteration. Olaparib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth, and potentially augment an anti-tumor immune response to pembrolizumab. The trial is designed to assess the efficacy and safety of olaparib in combination with pembrolizumab in patients with HR mutation/ alteration whose disease progressed on prior immunotherapy and/or BRAF-targeting therapy


Treatment with PARP inhibitors could represent a novel opportunity to selectively kill a subset of cancer cells with deficiencies in DNA repair pathways. For example, a tumor arising in a patient with a germline BRCA mutation (gBRCAmut) has a defective homologous recombination DNA repair pathway and would be increasingly dependent on NHEJ, alt-NHEJ, and BER for maintenance of genomic integrity. PARP inhibitors block alt-NHEJ and BER, forcing tumors with BRCA deficiencies to use the error-prone NHEJ to fix double-strand breaks. Non-BRCA deficiencies in homologous recombination DNA repair genes could also enhance tumor cell sensitivity to PARP inhibitors. The rationale for anticancer activity in a subset of non-gBRCAmut tumors is that they share distinctive DNA repair defects with gBRCAmut carriers, a phenomenon broadly described as "BRCAness." DNA repair defects can be caused by germline or somatic alterations to the homologous recombination DNA repair pathway. Homologous recombination is a complex pathway, and several genes other than BRCA1 and BRCA2 are required either to sense or repair DNA double-strand breaks via the homologous recombination pathway. Therefore, PARP inhibitors are also selectively cytotoxic for cancer cells with deficiencies in DNA repair proteins other than BRCA1 and BRCA2.

In melanoma, genetic HR mutation/ alterations are rather common. Retrospective data showed that nearly 20-30% of cutaneous melanoma harbors a mutation in at least 1 of the HR genes in their tumor. The commonly altered genes were ARID1A, FANCA, ATM, BRCA1, ATRX and BRCA2, ATR, BRCA1 and BRIP1. These findings indicate that HR mutations / alterations are frequently observed in metastatic melanoma, and they suggest that PARP inhibitors could potentially be of a great clinical value in a substantial portion of the patients with advanced melanoma. In addition, the retrospective data also showed that presence of HR mutation was associated with high TMB and clinical response to checkpoint immunotherapy. Therefore, the investigators propose a phase II study of niraparib in patients with advanced melanoma with genetic homologous recombination mutation/ alteration.

In this clinical study, clinical efficacy of olaparib in combination with pembrolizumab will be evaluated by assessing an objective clinical response rate in patients with advanced, metastatic melanoma with the homologous recombination (HR) pathway gene mutation / alteration. All participating patients will receive olaparib 300 mg a day and pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks (for up to 2 years) until disease progresses or they experience intolerable toxicity.

Condition Metastatic Melanoma, Stage IV Melanoma
Treatment Pembrolizumab, olaparib
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04633902
SponsorCalifornia Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
Last Modified on14 May 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Histologically confirmed diagnosis of unresectable or metastatic stage III or IV melanoma
Must have genetic HR mutation/ alteration including ARID1A/B, ARID2, ATM, ATR, BARD1, BRCA1/2, BAP1, BRIP1, CHEK2, FANCA, FANCD2, MRN11A, PALB2, RAD50, RAD51, RAD54B
Disease must be refractory or resistant to anti PD-1 therapy (defined as disease progression within 6 months after the last dose of anti PD-1 antibody therapy) and, for V600 BRAF mutation, disease must be progressed after BRAF inhibitor therapy; or patients could not have tolerated the standard therapies
Must have measurable disease based on RECIST 1.1
Must have an ECOG performance status of 0 to 1
Prior systemic cytotoxic therapy up to 1 regimens is allowed; There is no limit on the number of prior immunotherapy or targeted therapy regimens
Must have recovered from all AEs due to previous therapies to Grade 1 or baseline

Exclusion Criteria

Previously treated with a PARP inhibitor
Has received prior radiotherapy within 2 weeks of start of study treatment. A 1-week washout is permitted for palliative radiation (2 weeks of radiotherapy) to non-CNS disease
Has a diagnosis of immunodeficiency or is receiving chronic systemic steroid therapy (in dosing exceeding 10 mg daily of prednisone equivalent) or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to the first dose of study drug
Has a known additional malignancy that is progressing or has required active treatment within the past 2 years
Previous solid organ or allogenic bone marrow transplant or double umbilical cord blood transplantation (dUCBT) for solid tumors
Has known active CNS metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis. Participants with previously treated brain metastases may participate provided they are radiologically stable, i.e. without evidence of progression for at least 4 weeks by repeat imaging (note that the repeat imaging should be performed during study screening), clinically stable and without requirement of steroid treatment for at least 14 days prior to first dose of study treatment
Has active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in the past 2 years
Has a history of (non-infectious) pneumonitis due to a single agent PD-1 / PD-L1 antibody therapy that required steroids or has current pneumonitis
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