First-in-human study of SBRT and adenosine pathway blockade to potentiate the benefit of immunochemotherapy in early-stage luminal B breast cancer: results of the safety run-in phase of the Neo-CheckRay trial

January, 01, 2024 | Select Oncology Journal Articles


Luminal B breast cancer (BC) presents a worse prognosis when compared with luminal A BC and exhibits a lower sensitivity to chemotherapy and a lower immunogenicity in contrast to non-luminal BC subtypes. The Neo-CheckRay clinical trial investigates the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) directed to the primary tumor in combination with the adenosine pathway inhibitor oleclumab to improve the response to neo-adjuvant immuno-chemotherapy in luminal B BC. The trial consists of a safety run-in followed by a randomized phase II trial. Here, we present the results of the first-in-human safety run-in.


The safety run-in was an open-label, single-arm trial in which six patients with early-stage luminal B BC received the following neo-adjuvant regimen: paclitaxel q1wx12 -> doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide q2wx4; durvalumab (anti-programmed cell death receptor ligand 1 (PD-L1)) q4wx5; oleclumab (anti-CD73) q2wx4 -> q4wx3 and 3x8 Gy SBRT to the primary tumor at week 5. Surgery must be performed 2–6 weeks after primary systemic treatment and adjuvant therapy was given per local guidelines, RT boost to the tumor bed was not allowed. Key inclusion criteria were: luminal BC, Ki67≥15% or histological grade 3, MammaPrint high risk, tumor size≥1.5 cm. Primary tumor tissue samples were collected at three timepoints: baseline, 1 week after SBRT and at surgery. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, PD-L1 and CD73 were evaluated at each timepoint, and residual cancer burden (RCB) was calculated at surgery.


Six patients were included between November 2019 and March 2020. Median age was 53 years, range 37–69. All patients received SBRT and underwent surgery 2–4 weeks after the last treatment. After a median follow-up time of 2 years after surgery, one grade 3 adverse event (AE) was reported: pericarditis with rapid resolution under corticosteroids. No grade 4–5 AE were documented. Overall cosmetical breast evaluation after surgery was ‘excellent’ in four patients and ‘good’ in two patients. RCB results were 2/6 RCB 0; 2/6 RCB 1; 1/6 RCB 2 and 1/6 RCB 3.


This novel treatment combination was considered safe and is worth further investigation in a randomized phase II trial.

Trial registration number


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