Clinical Research Papers:

A phase 2 study of the first imipridone ONC201, a selective DRD2 antagonist for oncology, administered every three weeks in recurrent glioblastoma

Isabel Arrillaga-Romany _, Andrew S. Chi, Joshua E. Allen, Wolfgang Oster, Patrick Y. Wen and Tracy T. Batchelor

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:79298-79304. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17837

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Isabel Arrillaga-Romany1, Andrew S. Chi3, Joshua E. Allen4, Wolfgang Oster4, Patrick Y. Wen2 and Tracy T. Batchelor1

1 Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

2 Center for Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Boston, MA, USA

3 Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA

4 Oncoceutics, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Correspondence to:

Isabel Arrillaga-Romany, email:

Keywords: ONC201, Imipridone, GPCR, glioblastoma, glioma

Received: April 25, 2017 Accepted: April 28, 2017 Published: May 12, 2017


ONC201 is an oral, small molecule selective antagonist of the G protein-coupled receptor DRD2 that causes p53-independent apoptosis in tumor cells via integrated stress response activation and Akt/ERK inactivation. We performed a Phase II study that enrolled 17 patients with recurrent, bevacizumab-naïve, IDH1/2 WT glioblastoma who received 625mg ONC201 every three weeks. Median OS was 41.6 weeks with OS6 of 71% and OS9 of 53%. Seven of 17 patients are alive. PFS6 was 11.8% with two patients remaining on study who continue to receive ONC201 for >12 months. One of these patients had a durable objective response with a secondary glioblastoma possessing a H3.3 K27M mutation, exhibiting regression by 85% in one lesion and 76% in the second lesion. The second patient who continues to receive ONC201 for >12 months remains disease-free after enrolling on this trial following a re-resection. No drug-related SAEs or treatment discontinuation due to toxicity occurred. Plasma PK at 2 hours post-dose was 2.6 ug/mL, serum prolactin induction was observed as a surrogate marker of target engagement, and DRD2 was expressed in all evaluated archival tumor specimens. In summary, ONC201 is well tolerated and may have single agent activity in recurrent glioblastoma patients.

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