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J Clin Oncol. 2009 Jan 10;27(2):193-8. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.18.9514. Epub 2008 Dec 1.

Oral mTOR inhibitor everolimus in patients with gemcitabine-refractory metastatic pancreatic cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



The PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is activated in the majority of pancreatic cancers, and inhibition of this pathway has antitumor effects in preclinical studies. We performed a multi-institutional, single-arm, phase II study of RAD001(everolimus), an oral inhibitor of mTOR, in patients who experienced treatment failure on first-line therapy with gemcitabine.


Thirty-three patients with gemcitabine-refractory, metastatic pancreatic cancer were treated continuously with RAD001 at 10 mg daily. Prior treatment with fluorouracil in the perioperative setting was allowed. Patients were observed for toxicity, treatment response, and survival.


Treatment with single-agent RAD001 was well-tolerated; the most common adverse events were mild hyperglycemia and thrombocytopenia. No patients were removed from the study because of drug-related adverse events. No complete or partial treatment responses were noted, and only seven patients (21%) had stable disease at the first restaging scans performed at 2 months. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 1.8 months and 4.5 months, respectively. One patient (3%) had a biochemical response, defined as > or = 50% reduction in serum CA19-9.


Although well-tolerated, RAD001 administered as a single-agent had minimal clinical activity in patients with gemcitabine-refractory, metastatic pancreatic cancer. Future studies in metastatic pancreatic cancer should assess the combination of mTOR inhibitors with other agents and/or examine inhibitors of other components of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

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