Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Oral Oncol. 2013 May;49(5):461-7. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2012.12.016. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

A phase II study of temsirolimus and erlotinib in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic, platinum-refractory head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. baumanje@upmc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a validated target in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In recurrent and/or metastatic (R/M) HNSCC, resistance to anti-EGFR therapy inevitably occurs. Downstream activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is an established resistance mechanism. Concurrent mTOR blockade may improve efficacy of anti-EGFR therapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Erlotinib 150 mg daily and temsirolimus 15 mg weekly were administered to patients with platinum-refractory R/M HNSCC and ECOG performance status 0-2. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Correlative studies determined PIK3CA and HRAS mutation status; p16, EGFR, pS6K, pAkt and PTEN expression; and pre- and post-treatment plasma levels of 20 immunomodulatory cytokines.

RESULTS:

Twelve patients enrolled; six withdrew within 6 weeks due to toxicity or death, prompting early closure of the trial. Grade ≥ 3 toxicities included fatigue, diarrhea, gastrostomy tube infection, peritonitis, pneumonia, dyspnea, and HN edema. Median PFS was 1.9 months. Median overall survival was 4.0 months. Six/12 tumors were p16(+), 9/11 lacked measurable PTEN expression, and 1/12 harbored a PIK3CA mutation. On exploratory analysis, high baseline plasma VEGF and interferon-gamma levels marginally associated with tumor progression.

CONCLUSIONS:

The combination of erlotinib and temsirolimus was poorly tolerated. Low prevalence of PTEN expression and 8% incidence of PIK3CA mutations indicate biological relevance of this pathway in R/M disease. Investigation of more tolerable combinations of EGFR and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway inhibitors in selected HNSCC patients is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms

Substances

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center