Phase I/II study of the mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor everolimus (RAD001) in patients with relapsed or refractory hematologic malignancies

Karen W L Yee, Zhihong Zeng, Marina Konopleva, Srdan Verstovsek, Farhad Ravandi, Alessandra Ferrajoli, Deborah Thomas, William Wierda, Efrosyni Apostolidou, Maher Albitar, Susan O'Brien, Michael Andreeff, Francis J Giles
Clinical Cancer Research 2006 September 1, 12 (17): 5165-73

PURPOSE: Everolimus (RAD001, Novartis), an oral derivative of rapamycin, inhibits the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which regulates many aspects of cell growth and division. A phase I/II study was done to determine safety and efficacy of everolimus in patients with relapsed or refractory hematologic malignancies.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Two dose levels (5 and 10 mg orally once daily continuously) were evaluated in the phase I portion of this study to determine the maximum tolerated dose of everolimus to be used in the phase II study.

RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients (9 acute myelogenous leukemia, 5 myelodysplastic syndrome, 6 B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 4 mantle cell lymphoma, 1 myelofibrosis, 1 natural killer cell/T-cell leukemia, and 1 T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia) received everolimus. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed. Grade 3 potentially drug-related toxicities included hyperglycemia (22%), hypophosphatemia (7%), fatigue (7%), anorexia (4%), and diarrhea (4%). One patient developed a cutaneous leukocytoclastic vasculitis requiring a skin graft. One patient with refractory anemia with excess blasts achieved a major platelet response of over 3-month duration. A second patient with refractory anemia with excess blasts showed a minor platelet response of 25-day duration. Phosphorylation of downstream targets of mTOR, eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1, and/or, p70 S6 kinase, was inhibited in six of nine patient samples, including those from the patient with a major platelet response.

CONCLUSIONS: Everolimus is well tolerated at a daily dose of 10 mg daily and may have activity in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome. Studies of everolimus in combination with therapeutic agents directed against other components of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mTOR pathway are warranted.

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