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This article is the author's final published version in eClinicalMedicine, Volume 67, January 2024, Article number 102376.

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Copyright © 2023 The Author(s)


BACKGROUND: Cabozantinib is approved for previously treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (aHCC) and has been investigated in gastric cancer (GC) and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (GEJ). Atezolizumab plus bevacizumab is approved for unresectable or metastatic HCC untreated with prior systemic therapy. We evaluated efficacy and safety of cabozantinib plus atezolizumab in aHCC previously untreated with systemic anticancer therapy or previously treated GC/GEJ.

METHODS: COSMIC-021 (, NCT03170960) is an open-label, phase 1b study in solid tumours with a dose-escalation stage followed by tumour-specific expansion cohorts, including aHCC (cohort 14) and GC/GEJ (cohort 15). Eligible patients were aged ≥18 years with measurable locally advanced, metastatic, or recurrent disease per RECIST version 1.1. Patients received oral cabozantinib 40 mg daily and intravenous atezolizumab 1200 mg once every 3 weeks until progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed objective response rate per RECIST version 1.1.

FINDINGS: Patients were screened between February 14, 2019, and May 7, 2020, and 61 (30 aHCC, 31 GC/GEJ) were enrolled and received at least one dose of study treatment. Median duration of follow-up was 31.2 months (IQR 28.5-32.7) for aHCC and 30.4 months (28.7-31.9) for GC/GEJ. Objective response rate was 13% (4/30, 95% CI 4-31) for aHCC and 0% (95% CI 0-11) for GC/GEJ. Six (20%) aHCC patients and three (10%) GC/GEJ patients had treatment-related adverse events resulting in discontinuation of either study drug.

INTERPRETATION: Cabozantinib plus atezolizumab had clinical activity with a manageable safety profile in aHCC previously untreated with systemic anticancer therapy. Clinical activity of cabozantinib plus atezolizumab was minimal in previously treated GC/GEJ.

FUNDING: Exelixis, Inc., Alameda, CA, USA.

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