BACKGROUND: We present the results of an academic phase 2 study on imatinib plus everolimus in patients who have progressive advanced chordoma.
METHODS: In January 2011, 43 adult chordoma patients were enrolled in the study and received imatinib 400 mg/day and everolimus 2.5 mg/day until progression or limiting toxicity. Eligible patients had progressed in the 6 months before study entry. PDGFRB, S6, and 4EBP1 expression and phosphorylation were evaluated by way of immunohistochemistry and/or western blotting. The primary endpoint was the overall response rate (ORR) according to Choi criteria. Secondary endpoints were RECIST 1.1 response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), correlation between S6/4EBP1 phosphorylation and response.
RESULTS: Thirteen of 43 patients were pretreated with imatinib. Among 40 of the 43 patients who were evaluable by Choi criteria, the best responses were 9 with partial response (ORR, 20.9%), 24 with stable disease (SD) (ORR, 55.8%), and 7 with progressive disease (ORR, 16.3%). Forty-two patients were evaluable by RECIST criteria, with 1 partial response (ORR, 2.3%), 37 stable disease (ORR, 86%), and 4 progressive disease (ORR, 9.3%). The median PFS according to Choi criteria was 11.5 months (range, 4.6-17.6 months), and 58.8% and 48.1% of patients were progression-free at 9 and 12 months, respectively. The median PFS by RECIST criteria was 14 months; the median OS was 47.1 months. When assessable, S6/4EBP1 was phosphorylated in a high and moderate/low proportion of tumor cells in responsive and nonresponsive patients, respectively. Toxicity caused a temporary and definitive treatment discontinuation in 60.5% and 30.2% of patients, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Imatinib plus everolimus showed a limited activity in progressing advanced chordoma. Interestingly, the amount of tumor cells activated for mammalian target of rapamycin effectors correlated with the response. Toxicity was not negligible.