Antonio Jimeno

University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, Colorado, United States

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Publications (137)667.29 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Local control and overall survival in patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) remains dismal. Signaling through the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway is associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and activation of the Hh effector transcription factor Gli1 is a poor prognostic factor in this disease setting. Here we report that increased GLI1 expression in the leading edge of HNSCC tumors is further increased by irradition where it contributes to therapeutic inhibition. Hh pathway blockade with cyclopamine suppressed GLI1 activation and enhanced tumor sensitivity to radiotherapy. Further, radiotherapy-induced GLI1 expression was mediated in part by the mTOR/S6K1 pathway. Stroma exposed to radiotherapy promoted rapid tumor repopulation and this effect was suppressed by Hh inhibiiton. Our results demonstrate that Gli1 that is upregulated at the tumor-stroma intersection in HNSCC is elevated by radiotherapy where it contributes to stromal-mediated resistance, and that Hh inhibitors offer a rational strategy to reverse this process to sensitize HNSCC to radiotherapy.
    Cancer research. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To estimate the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) for continuous oral administration of the gamma-secretase inhibitor PF-03084014, determine the recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D), and evaluate safety and preliminary activity in patients with advanced solid tumors. Experimental Design: This open-label, phase I study consisted of a dose-finding portion based on a 3+3 design, followed by an expansion cohort. PF-03084014 was administered orally, twice daily (BID) for 21 continuous days. Tested doses ranged from 20 to 330 mg BID. In the expansion cohort, patients were to receive the estimated MTD or a lower dose of PF-03084014. Results: A total of 64 patients received treatment. The MTD was estimated to be 220 mg BID. The RP2D was determined to be 150 mg BID, based on the better safety profile versus the 220-mg BID dose, given comparable NOTCH-related target inhibition. The most common treatment-related AEs were diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, hypophosphatemia, vomiting, rash, and decreased appetite, which were generally mild to moderate in severity. One patient with advanced thyroid cancer had a complete response and five of seven response-evaluable patients with desmoid tumor achieved a partial response (71.4% objective response rate). Tumor responses were mostly durable, ranging from 1.74+ to 24+ months. PF-03084014 demonstrated a generally dose-dependent pharmacokinetic profile at doses ranging from 20 to 330 mg BID. Consistent down-modulation of NOTCH-related HES4 gene expression was observed in peripheral blood from all evaluable patients. Conclusions: Further development of PF-03084014 for the treatment of patients with advanced solid tumors is warranted and currently under evaluation.
    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. 09/2014;
  • Phuong Le, Jessica D McDermott, Antonio Jimeno
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    ABSTRACT: The Wnt signaling pathways are a group of signal transduction pathways that play an important role in cell fate specification, cell proliferation and cell migration. Aberrant signaling in these pathways has been implicated in the development and progression of multiple cancers by allowing increased proliferation, angiogenesis, survival and metastasis. Activation of the Wnt pathway also contributes to the tumorigenicity of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Therefore, inhibiting this pathway has been a recent focus for cancer research with multiple targetable candidates in development. OMP-54F28 is a fusion protein that combines the cysteine-rich domain of frizzled family receptor 8 (Fzd8) with the immunoglobulin Fc domain that competes with the native Fzd8 receptor for its ligands and antagonizes Wnt signaling. Preclinical models with OMP-54F28 have shown reduced tumor growth and decreased CSC frequency as a single agent and in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. Due to these findings, a phase 1a study is nearing completion with OMP-54F28 in advanced solid tumors and 3 phase 1b studies have been opened with OMP-54F28 in combination with standard of care chemotherapy backbones in ovarian, pancreatic and hepatocellular cancers. This article will review the Wnt signaling pathway, preclinical data on OMP-54F28 and other Wnt pathway inhibitors and ongoing clinical trials.
    Pharmacology & therapeutics. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background This phase I, dose-finding study determined the safety, maximum tolerated dose (MTD)/recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D), and antitumor activity of PX-866, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, combined with cetuximab in patients with incurable colorectal cancer or squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Methods PX-866 was administered at escalating doses (6-8 mg daily) combined with cetuximab given at a 400 mg/m(2) loading dose followed by 250 mg/m(2) weekly. A "3 + 3" study design was used. Prior therapy with anti-EGFR therapies, including cetuximab, was allowed. Results Eleven patients were enrolled. The most frequent treatment-emergent adverse event was diarrhea (90.1 %), followed by hypomagnesemia (72.2 %), vomiting (72.2 %), fatigue (54.5 %), nausea (54.5 %), rash (45.5 %) and peripheral edema (40 %). No dose limiting toxicities were observed. The RP2D was 8 mg, the same as the single-agent PX-866 MTD. Best responses in 9 evaluable patients were: 4 partial responses (44.4 %), 4 stable disease (44.4 %), and 1 disease progression (11.1 %). The median progression free survival was 106 days (range: 1-271). Conclusion Treatment with PX-866 and cetuximab was tolerated with signs of anti-tumor activity. Further development of this combination is warranted.
    Investigational New Drugs 06/2014; · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a common cancer worldwide. Classically, it is a disease related to tobacco and alcohol use; an increasing number of patients are being diagnosed with HNSCC caused by infection with the human papillomavirus. New deep-sequencing techniques have confirmed the importance of p53 and EGF receptor in HNSCC development, and have identified pathways of critical importance, such as PI3K/mTOR and NOTCH. Increasing knowledge of key molecular features has lead to new therapeutic avenues for HNSCC. Novel therapies under investigation in HNSCC include antibody and small molecule inhibitors of EGF receptor and its family members, PI3K inhibitors, antiangiogenic agents, immunotherapies and agents interacting with early developmental pathways such as Hedgehog.
    Future oncology (London, England). 05/2014; 10(6):1065-80.
  • J McDermott, A Jimeno
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    ABSTRACT: Belinostat is a novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor that is being developed in various solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. HDACs have been found to be important in the epigenetic regulation of cancer progression and inhibition of these molecules in preclinical studies induces cancer cell apoptosis and prevents tumor growth. Several HDAC molecules have been found to be overexpressed in peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) and therefore HDAC inhibition has been an important new target in treating these malignancies which have traditionally had poor outcomes and limited treatment response. Phase I studies were tested across a broad range of hematologic and solid tumors and showed stability of disease in various tumor types with low rates of adverse events. This made it acceptable to proceed with further testing in specific tumor types to further determine efficacy. Two phase II studies have been completed with belinostat given intravenously in the relapsed/refractory PTCL setting with at least 25% overall response and minimal toxicities. These findings have led to a request for accelerated approval to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for belinostat in this setting. This review will discuss the preclinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and clinical efficacy to date of belinostat in the treatment of PTCL.
    Drugs of today (Barcelona, Spain: 1998) 05/2014; 50(5):337-45. · 1.22 Impact Factor
  • J McDermott, A Jimeno
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    ABSTRACT: Ibrutinib is a novel oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor that irreversibly binds and inhibits tyrosine-protein kinase BTK (Bruton tyrosine kinase). BTK has been found to be important in the function of B-cell receptor signaling and therefore in the maintenance and expansion of various B-cell malignancies including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Targeting BTK with ibrutinib has been found to be an effective strategy in treating these malignancies. Phase I clinical testing in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and CLL showed that the drug was extremely well tolerated with no major dose-limiting toxicities and a 54% overall response rate. Subsequently, two phase Ib/II studies were performed on patients with CLL, one in relapsed/refractory CLL and one in previously untreated elderly patients with CLL. Both of these studies continued to show good tolerability of the drug and an overall response rate of about 71% with extended duration of response. Another phase II study using ibrutinib in relapsed/refractory MCL was conducted and also showed that it was well tolerated with an overall response rate of 68% and extended duration of response. Due to these results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval for ibrutinib in November 2013 for patients with MCL who had received at least one prior therapy and in February 2014 for patients with CLL who had received at least one prior therapy. This review will discuss the preclinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and clinical efficacy to date of ibrutinib in the treatment of CLL and MCL.
    Drugs of today (Barcelona, Spain: 1998) 04/2014; 50(4):291-300. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the pharmacokinetics (PK), maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), safety, and antitumor activity of an oral formulation of rigosertib, a dual phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) pathway inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid malignancies. Patients with advanced solid malignancies received rigosertib twice daily (BID) continuously in 21-day cycles. Doses were escalated until intolerable grade ≥2 toxicities, at which point the previous dose level was expanded to define the MTD. All patients were assessed for safety, PK, and response. Urinary PK were performed at the MTD. Archival tumors were assessed for potential molecular biomarkers with multiplex mutation testing. A subset of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) underwent exome sequencing. Forty-eight patients received a median of 2 cycles of therapy at 5 dose levels. Rigosertib exposure increased with escalating doses. Dose-limiting toxicities were hematuria and dysuria. The most common grade ≥2 drug-related toxicities involved urothelial irritation. The MTD is 560 mg BID. Activity was seen in head and neck SCCs (1 complete response, 1 partial response) and stable disease for ≥12 weeks was observed in 8 additional patients. Tumors experiencing ≥partial response had PI3K pathway activation, inactivated p53, and unique variants in ROBO3 and FAT1, two genes interacting with the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. The recommended phase 2 dose of oral rigosertib is 560 mg BID given continuously. Urinary toxicity is the dose limiting and most common toxicity. Alterations in PI3K, p53, and Wnt/β-catenin pathway signaling should be investigated as potential biomarkers of response in future trials.
    Clinical Cancer Research 02/2014; · 7.84 Impact Factor
  • International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 01/2014; 88(2):469. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) originate in stratified epithelia, with a small subset becoming metastatic. Epithelial stem cells are targets for driver mutations that give rise to SCCs, but it is unknown whether they contribute to oncogenic multipotency and metastasis. We developed a mouse model of SCC by targeting two frequent genetic mutations in human SCCs, oncogene Kras G12D activation and Smad4 deletion, to mouse ker-atin 15–expressing (K15 +) stem cells. We show that transgenic mice developed multilineage tumors, including metastatic SCCs. Among cancer stem cell–enriched (CSC-enriched) populations, those with increased side population (SP) cells correlated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and lung metastasis. We show that microRNA-9 (miR-9) contributed to SP expansion and metastasis, and miR-9 inhibition reduced the num-ber of SP cells and metastasis. Increased miR-9 was detected in metastatic human primary SCCs and SCC metastases, and miR-9–transduced human SCC cells exhibited increased invasion. We identified α-catenin as a predominant miR-9 target. Increased miR-9 in human SCC metastases correlated with α-catenin loss but not E-cadherin loss. Our results demonstrate that stem cells with Kras G12D activation and Smad4 depletion can produce tumors that are multipotent and susceptible to EMT and metastasis. Additionally, tumor initiation and metastatic properties of CSCs can be uncoupled, with miR-9 regulating the expansion of metastatic CSCs.
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    ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are valuable treatments for EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Anti-EGFR antibodies are widely used in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and in KRAS wild-type colorectal cancer. The first-generation, reversible EGFR inhibitors erlotinib and gefitinib in the first-line setting provide superior progression-free survival and quality of life compared to conventional chemotherapy in NSCLC harboring activating EGFR mutations. However, these therapies eventually fail and new options are needed. Afatinib is a novel irreversible inhibitor of the ErbB family members EGFR, tyrosine kinase-type cell surface receptors HER2 and HER4. It shows preclinical efficacy in NSCLC with common EGFR-activating mutations and the T790M mutation typically associated with EGFR TKI resistance. Preclinical activity is seen in other tumor types as well, including HNSCC. Clinically, afatinib has been evaluated in the broad-reaching LUX Lung trial program, with significant activity seen in the first and later-line settings. It is also under investigation in multiple other tumor types. This review will stress on afatinib's preclinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and clinical activity with a focus on NSCLC.
    Drugs of today (Barcelona, Spain: 1998) 09/2013; 49(9):523-535. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:This phase I, dose-finding study determined the safety, maximum tolerated dose (MTD)/recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D), pharmacokinetics, and antitumour activity of PX-866, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, combined with docetaxel in patients with incurable solid tumours.Methods:PX-866 was administered at escalating doses (4-8 mg daily) with docetaxel 75 mg m(-2) intravenously every 21 days. Archived tumour tissue was assessed for potential predictive biomarkers.Results:Forty-three patients were enrolled. Most adverse events (AEs) were grade 1 or 2. The most frequent study drug-related AE was diarrhoea (76.7%), with gastrointestinal disorders occurring in 79.1% (docetaxel-related) and 83.7% (PX-866-related). No dose-limiting toxicities were observed. The RP2D was 8 mg, the same as the single-agent MTD. Co-administration of PX-866 and docetaxel did not affect either drug's PKs. Best responses in 35 evaluable patients were: 2 partial responses (6%), 22 stable disease (63%), and 11 disease progression (31%). Eleven patients remained on study for >180 days, including 8 who maintained disease control on single-agent PX-866. Overall median progression-free survival (PFS) was 73.5 days (range: 1-569). A non-significant association between longer PFS for PIK3CA-MUT/KRAS-WT vs PIK3CA-WT/KRAS-WT was observed.Conclusion:Treatment with PX-866 and docetaxel was well tolerated, without evidence of overlapping/cumulative toxicity. Further investigation with this combination is justified.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 13 August 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.474
    British Journal of Cancer 08/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • N Alluri, A Jimeno
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced melanoma traditionally has had poor prognosis with limited, modestly effective and relatively toxic systemic treatment options like cytotoxic chemotherapy (dacarbazine) and immunomodulating agents (high-dose interleukin-2 and ipilimumab) which have response rates of 6-20%. With the identification of BRAF mutations found to be present in 50% of melanomas and the clinical success of serine/threonine-protein kinase B-raf inhibitors the prognostic landscape of melanoma has changed considerably. Vemurafenib and dabrafenib have been at the forefront of antimelanoma-targeted agents with a tolerable side effect profile and efficacy that compared well with the standard chemotherapy. These characteristics have led to the regulatory approval of both agents for the treatment of melanoma. However, these agents are not curative and have a short life span primarily due to rapidly occurring drug resistance. More recently, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors have been found to have strong anticancer activity independently as well as when combined with other agents like B-raf inhibitors due to their activity downstream of RAF. Preclinical data and limited clinical data suggest that MEK inhibitors may be a component of effective therapy for a broad spectrum of cancers with other oncogenic drivers.
    Drugs of today (Barcelona, Spain: 1998) 08/2013; 49(8):491-8. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dual pathway inhibitor rigosertib inhibits phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway activation as well as polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) activity across a broad spectrum of cancer cell lines. The importance of PIK3CA alterations in head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) has raised interest in exploring agents targeting PI3K, the product of PIK3CA. The genetic and molecular basis of rigosertib treatment response was investigated in a panel of 16 HNSCC cell lines, and direct patient tumor xenografts from 8 HNSCC patients (4 HPV16-positive). HNSCC cell lines and xenografts were characterized by pathway enrichment gene expression analysis, exon sequencing, gene copy number, western blotting, and IHC. Rigosertib had potent antiproliferative effects on 11 of the 16 HPV- HNSCC cell lines. Treatment sensitivity was confirmed in two cell lines using an orthotopic in vivo xenograft model. Growth reduction after rigosertib treatment was observed in 3/8 HNSCC direct patient tumor lines. The responsive tumor lines carried a combination of a PI3KCA activating event (amplification or mutation) and a p53 inactivating event (either HPV16-mediated or mutation-mediated TP53 inactivation). In this study, we evaluated the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of rigosertib in both HPV+ and HPV- HNSCCs focusing on inhibition of the PI3K pathway. Although consistent inhibition of the PI3K pathway was not evident in HNSCC, we identified a combination of PI3K/TP53 events necessary, but not sufficient for rigosertib-sensitivity.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 07/2013; · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Omacetaxine mepesuccinate is a protein synthesis inhibitor that causes apoptosis of chronic myeloid leukemia cells without binding to the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase that is implicated in the pathogenesis of this disease. It has been approved for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia in patients with resistance to two or more tyrosine kinase inhibitors and is emerging as an important agent in countering the highly resistant T315I mutation. This review will focus on the preclinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and clinical utility of omacetaxine mepesuccinate in the current milieu of tyrosine kinase inhibitor-dominant therapy of chronic myeloid leukemia.
    Drugs of today (Barcelona, Spain: 1998) 07/2013; 49(7):447-56. · 1.22 Impact Factor
  • T Medina, M N Amaria, A Jimeno
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced melanoma has long been a challenging malignancy to treat due to a relative paucity of efficacious therapeutic options. However, the identification of activating BRAF mutations in approximately 50% of patients with cutaneous melanoma has ushered in the era of targeted therapy for melanoma patients. Similar to the first-in-class selective serine/threonine-protein kinase B-raf inhibitor vemurafenib, dabrafenib is highly efficacious in melanoma patients with BRAF V600E mutations, with response rates of approximately 50% and progression-free survival of 6 months. There is data to suggest that dabrafenib not only shows activity in V600E-mutated melanoma, but also in non-V600E BRAF-mutated disease such as V600K. There is also early data to suggest that dabrafenib is effective in controlling metastases in the brain. Combining dabrafenib with the selective mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor trametinib has been effective in improving both the progression-free survival and overall survival of melanoma patients over those patients treated with dabrafenib alone. Dabrafenib is still being evaluated in several clinical trials in melanoma as well as a variety of other solid tumors with BRAF mutations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved dabrafenib as a single agent for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma in adult patients with BRAF V600E mutation.
    Drugs of today (Barcelona, Spain: 1998) 06/2013; 49(6):377-385. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tivozanib is a recently developed, small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor with specific affinity for the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) family of kinases. Given known relevance of VHL (Von Hippel-Lindau disease tumor suppressor) deregulation in the clear cell variant of renal cell carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma remains an area of interest and subject of recent registration trials with this approach. TIVO-1, a phase III study evaluating tivozanib versus sorafenib in the first-line setting, met its primary endpoint of progression-free survival (11.9 months for tivozanib vs. 9.1 months for sorafenib), with a manageable toxicity profile, leading to formal consideration of regulatory approval in this setting. This review focuses on the preclinical development, pharmacokinetics and early clinical activity of tivozanib in renal cell carcinoma and other solid tumors.
    Drugs of today (Barcelona, Spain: 1998) 05/2013; 49(5):303-15. · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-directed monoclonal antibody cetuximab is the only targeted therapy approved for the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), but is only effective in a minority of patients. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been implicated as a drug resistance mechanism in multiple cancers, and the EGFR and Hedgehog pathways (HhP) are relevant to this process, but the interplay between the two pathways has not been defined in HNSCC. Here we show that HNSCC cells that were naturally sensitive to EGFR inhibition over time developed increased expression of the HhP transcription factor GLI1 as they became resistant after long-term EGFR inhibitor exposure. This robustly correlated with an increase in Vimentin expression. Conversely, the HhP negatively regulated an EGFR-dependent, EMT-like state in HNSCC cells, and pharmacological or genetic inhibition of HhP signaling pushed cells further into an EGFR-dependent phenotype, increasing expression of ZEB1 and VIM. In vivo treatment with cetuximab resulted in tumor shrinkage in four out of six HNSCC patient-derived xenografts; however they eventually re-grew. Cetuximab in combination with the HhP inhibitor IPI-926 eliminated tumors in two cases and significantly delayed re-growth in the other two cases. Expression of EMT genes TWIST and ZEB2 was increased in sensitive xenografts suggesting a possible resistant mesenchymal population. In summary, we report that EGFR-dependent HNSCC cells can undergo both EGFR-dependent and -independent EMT and HhP signaling is a regulator in both processes. Cetuximab plus IPI-926 forces tumor cells into an EGFR-dependent state delaying or completely blocking tumor recurrence.
    Cancer Research 04/2013; · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To conduct a first-in-human Phase 1 study to determine the dose limiting toxicities (DLTs), characterize the pharmacokinetic profile, and document the antitumor activity of IPI-926, a new chemical entity that inhibits the Hedgehog pathway (HhP). Methods: Patients with solid tumors refractory to standard therapy were given IPI-926 once daily (QD) by mouth in 28-day cycles. The starting dose was 20 mg and an accelerated titration schedule was used until standard 3+3 dose escalation cohorts were implemented. Pharmacokinetics was evaluated on Day -7 and Day 22 of Cycle 1. RESULTS: Ninety-four patients (32F, 62M; ages 39-87) received doses ranging from 20 mg to 210 mg QD. Dose levels up to and including 160 mg administered QD were well tolerated. Toxicities consisted of reversible elevations in AST, ALT and bilirubin, fatigue, nausea, alopecia, and muscle spasms. IPI-926 was not associated with hematologic toxicity. IPI-926 pharmacokinetics was characterized by a slow absorption (Tmax 2 to 8 hours) and a terminal half-life (t1/2) between 20 and 40 hours, supporting QD dosing. Of those HhP inhibitor-naïve patients with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) who received more than 1 dose of IPI-926 and had a follow-up clinical or RECIST assessment, nearly a third (8 of 28 patients) demonstrated a response to IPI-926 at doses ≥130 mg. CONCLUSIONS: IPI-926 was well tolerated up to 160 mg QD within 28-day cycles, which was established as the recommended Phase 2 dose and schedule for this agent. Single-agent activity of IPI-926 was observed in HhP inhibitor-naïve patients with BCC.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2013; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Targeted therapy development in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is challenging given the rarity of activating mutations. Additionally, HNSCC incidence is increasing related to human papillomavirus (HPV). We sought to develop an in vivo model derived from patients reflecting the evolving HNSCC epidemiologic landscape, and use it to identify new therapies. Primary and relapsed tumors from HNSCC patients, both HPV+ and HPV-, were implanted on mice, giving rise to 25 strains. Resulting xenografts were characterized by detecting key mutations, measuring protein expression by IHC and gene expression/pathway analysis by mRNA-sequencing. Drug efficacy studies were run with representative xenografts using the approved drug cetuximab as well as the new PI3K inhibitor PX-866. Tumors maintained their original morphology, genetic profiles and drug susceptibilities through serial passaging. The genetic makeup of these tumors was consistent with known frequencies of TP53, PI3KCA, NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 mutations. Because the EGFR inhibitor cetuximab is a standard HNSCC therapy, we tested its efficacy and observed a wide spectrum of efficacy. Cetuximab-resistant strains had higher PI3K/Akt pathway gene expression and protein activation than cetuximab-sensitive strains. The PI3K inhibitor PX-866 had anti-tumor efficacy in HNSCC models with PIK3CA alterations. Finally, PI3K inhibition was effective in two cases with NOTCH1 inactivating mutations. In summary, we have developed an HNSCC model covering its clinical spectrum whose major genetic alterations and susceptibility to anticancer agents represent contemporary HNSCC. This model enables to prospectively test therapeutic-oriented hypotheses leading to personalized medicine.
    Molecular oncology 04/2013; · 6.70 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
667.29 Total Impact Points


  • 2013–2014
    • University of Colorado Hospital
      Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 2009–2014
    • University of Colorado
      • Division of Medical Oncology
      Denver, Colorado, United States
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
      Buffalo, New York, United States
  • 2005–2011
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
      • • Department of Pathology
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2003–2011
    • Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain