Publication Date



Ophthalmic Research


INTRODUCTION: The Understanding New Interventions with GBM ThErapy (UNITE) study was designed to assess the effect of prophylaxis for ocular side effects (OSEs) in patients with glioblastoma receiving the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) depatuxizumab mafodotin. UNITE (NCT03419403) was a phase 3b, open-label, randomized, exploratory study performed at 18 research sites in 5 countries.

METHODS: The study enrolled adult patients with epidermal growth factor receptor-amplified, histologically confirmed, newly diagnosed supratentorial glioblastoma or grade IV gliosarcoma, and a Karnofsky Performance Status ≥70, receiving depatuxizumab mafodotin. All patients were administered depatuxizumab mafodotin during concurrent radiotherapy and temozolomide and with adjuvant temozolomide. Ninety patients were to be randomized (1:1:1) to OSE prophylactic treatments with each depatuxizumab mafodotin infusion: (a) standard steroid eye drops, (b) standard steroid eye drops plus vasoconstrictor eye drops and cold compress, or (c) enhanced steroids plus vasoconstrictor eye drops and cold compress. A Corneal Epitheliopathy Adverse Event (CEAE) scale was devised to capture symptoms, grade OSEs (scale of 0-5), and inform ADC dose modifications. The primary endpoint was the frequency of a required change in OSE management due to inadequate control of OSEs, defined as decline from baseline in visual acuity (using logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [LogMAR] scale) or a Grade ≥3 CEAE event, in the worst eye in the first 8 weeks of treatment; unless otherwise specified, the treatment period refers to both the chemoradiation and adjuvant phases.

RESULTS: The UNITE study was stopped early after interim analysis of separate phase III trial showed no difference in survival from depatuxizumab mafodotin. Forty patients were randomized (38 received depatuxizumab mafodotin). Overall, 23 patients experienced inadequate control of OSEs that required change in OSE management within 8 weeks of treatment, with 21 (70.0%) experiencing ≥+0.3 change on LogMAR scale in baseline-adjusted visual acuity and 12 reporting a grade ≥3 CEAE. There were no definitive differences among prophylactic treatments.

CONCLUSIONS: The premature cessation of the study precludes definitive conclusions regarding the OSE prophylaxis strategies. No new clinically significant safety findings were noted. Despite these limitations, this study highlights the need for novel assessment tools to better understand and mitigate OSEs associated with ADCs.


Ocular side effect, Antibody-drug conjugate, Depatuxizumab mafodotin, Corneal epitheliopathy, Epidermal growth factor receptor



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