The role of imatinib mesylate (Glivec) for treatment of patients with malignant endocrine tumors positive for c-kit or PDGF-R

Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel
Endocrine Related Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.91). 07/2006; 13(2):535-40. DOI: 10.1677/erc.1.01124
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Imatinib mesylate (IM), a small molecule that is a selective inhibitor of the ABL, platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR-R) and stem cell ligand receptor (c-kit) tyrosine kinases (TK). IM was also found to inhibit the TK activity of BCR/ABL fusion protein produced in chronic myelogenous leukemia, with marked clinical activity against the disease. Since both PDGF-R and c-kit both having a putative role in tumorigenesis, we investigated the efficacy and safety of the use of IM in patients with endocrine tumors unresponsive to conventional therapies that expressed c-kit and/or PDGF-R (within the framework of a comprehensive phase II multi-center study of IM in patients with solid tumors). IM was initiated at a dose of 400 mg/day, with possible dose escalation within 1 week to 600 mg/day and an option to raise the dose to 800 mg/day in the event of progression and in the absence of safety concerns for a period of up to 12 months. Between September 2002 and July 2003, 15 adult patients with disseminated endocrine tumors were recruited as follows: medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC, n = 6); adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC, n = 4); malignant pheochromocytoma (pheo, n = 2); carcinoid (non-secreting, n = 2), neuroendocrine tumor (NET, n = 1). No objective responses were observed. MTC--disease progression in 4 patients, and treatment discontinuation in 2 patients due to adverse events; ACC--disease progression in 3 patients, and treatment discontinuation in 1 patient due to severe psychiatric adverse event; Pheo--disease progression in 2 patients; Carcinoid--stable disease in 1 patient (6.5 months), and disease progression in 1 patient; NET--disease progression in 1 patient. IM does not appear to be useful for treatment of malignant endocrine tumors, also causing significant toxicity in this patient population.

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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundPatients with advanced endocrine cancers, such as adrenocortical carcinoma and medullary thyroid carcinoma, have few well-validated therapeutic options. Pre-clinical studies have suggested potential activity of imatinib in these tumors. We therefore sought to establish a safe, novel treatment regimen combining imatinib with cytotoxic chemotherapy for future study in endocrine cancers.MethodsA standard 3 + 3 dose-escalation design was used with a 21-day cycle, including imatinib on days 1–21, dacarbazine on days 1–3, and capecitabine on days 1–14.ResultsTwenty patients were treated. The most frequent toxicities were edema and fatigue, with dose-limiting fatigue and dyspnea. The recommended phase II regimen is dacarbazine 250 mg/m2 daily on day 1–3, capecitabine 500 mg/m2 twice daily on days 1–14, and imatinib 300 mg daily on days 1–21 of a 21-day cycle. Interestingly, responses were seen in patients with adrenocortical carcinoma, with 1 of 6 patients experiencing a partial response and a second experiencing a minor response, with progression-free survival of 8.8 and 6.4 months, respectively.ConclusionsThe regimen of imatinib, dacarbazine, and capecitabine is well-tolerated. It may have some activity in adrenocortical carcinoma, and further study of this combination or its components may be beneficial for this disease with limited treatment options.Trial identifier NCT00354523, registered July 18, 2006.
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