Phase II Study of Sunitinib Malate, an Oral Multitargeted Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor, in Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Previously Treated With an Anthracycline and a Taxane

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 18.43). 04/2008; 26(11):1810-6. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2007.14.5375
Source: PubMed


Sunitinib is an oral, multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor, stem cell factor receptor (KIT), and colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor. This phase II, open-label, multicenter study evaluated sunitinib monotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
Sixty-four patients previously treated with an anthracycline and a taxane received sunitinib 50 mg/d in 6-week cycles (4 weeks on, then 2 weeks off treatment). The primary end point was objective response rate. Plasma samples were obtained for pharmacokinetic and biomarker analysis.
Seven patients achieved a partial response (median duration, 19 weeks), giving an overall response rate of 11%. Three additional patients (5%) maintained stable disease for >or= 6 months. Median time to progression and overall survival were 10 and 38 weeks, respectively. Notably, responses occurred in triple negative tumors and HER2-positive, trastuzumab-treated patients. Thirty-three patients (52%) required dose interruption during >or= 1 cycle, and 25 patients required dose reduction (39%). Thirty-six patients (56%) had dose modifications due to adverse events (AEs). Treatment was associated with increases in plasma VEGF and decreases in soluble VEGFRs and KIT. The most common AEs were fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, mucosal inflammation, and anorexia. Most AEs were mild to moderate (grade 1 to 2) in severity and were effectively managed with dose delays or reductions.
Sunitinib is active in patients with heavily pretreated MBC. Most AEs were of mild-to-moderate severity and manageable with supportive treatment and/or dose modification. Further studies in breast cancer are warranted.

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    • "Bevacizumab and sunitinib in combination with cytotoxic drugs were administered in phase III trials of patients with metastatic breast cancer, and bevacizumab was evaluated for treating patients with early-stage breast cancer as a neoadjuvant [40]. The failures of these trials recently provoked several debates regarding the future applications of anti-VEGF agents in breast cancer [20, 41]. Aside from the failure of anti-VEGF agents to treat breast cancer, the results of clinical and preclinical research show that they have limited efficacy for treating hepatocellular carcinoma, rectal cancer, and glioblastoma [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia induced by antiangiogenic agents is linked to the generation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and treatment failure through unknown mechanisms. The generation of endothelial cell-independent microcirculation in malignant tumors is defined as tumor cell vasculogenic mimicry (VM). In the present study, we analyzed the effects of an antiangiogenic agent on VM in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Microcirculation patterns were detected in patients with TNBC and non-TNBC. Tientsin Albino 2 (TA2) mice engrafted with mouse TNBC cells and nude mice engrafted with human breast cancer cell lines with TNBC or non-TNBC phenotypes were administered sunitinib and analyzed to determine tumor progression, survival, microcirculation, and oxygen concentration. Further, we evaluated the effects of hypoxia induced with CoCl2 and the expression levels of the transcription factor Twist1, in the presence or absence of a Twist siRNA, on the population of CD133+ cells and VM in TNBC and non-TNBC cells. VM was detected in 35.8 and 17.8% of patients with TNBC or with non-TNBC, respectively. The growth of tumors in TNBC and non-TNBC-bearing mice was inhibited by sunitinib. The tumors in TA2 mice engrafted with mouse TNBCs and in mice engrafted a human TNBC cell line (MDA-MB-231) regrew after terminating sunitinib administration. However, this effect was not observed in mice engrafted with a non-TNBC tumor cell line. Tumor metastases in sunitinib-treated TA2 mice was accelerated, and the survival of these mice decreased when sunitinib was withdrawn. VM was the major component of the microcirculation in sunitinib-treated mice with TNBC tumors, and the population of CD133+ cells increased in hypoxic areas. Hypoxia also induced MDA-MB-231 cells to express Twist1, and CD133+ cells present in the MDA-MB-231 cell population induced VM after reoxygenation. Moreover, hypoxia did not induce MDA-MB-231 cells transfected with an sh-Twist1 siRNA cell to form VM and generate CD133+ cells. Conversely, hypoxia induced MCF-7 cells transfected with Twist to form VM and generate CD133+ cells. Sunitinib induced hypoxia in TNBCs, and Twist1 expression induced by hypoxia accelerated VM by increasing population of CD133+ cells. VM was responsible for the regrowth of TNBCs sunitinib administration was terminated.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Molecular Cancer
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    • "There were several reports that sunitinib inhibited tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth in xenografts of the claudin-low TNBC (MDA-MB-231) cells [15-17]. In a phase II study in patients with heavily pretreated metastatic breast cancer, 15% of patients (three of 20) with TNBC achieved partial responses following treatment with single-agent sunitinib [18]. However, there is no reported study on anti-tumor effects of sunitinib in xenografts of the basal-like TNBC (MDA-MB-468) cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are basal-like breast cancers. However there is no reported study on anti-tumor effects of sunitinib in xenografts of basal-like TNBC (MDA-MB-468) cells. In the present study, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, MCF-7 cells were cultured using RPMI 1640 media with 10% FBS. Vascular endothelia growth factor (VEGF) protein levels were detected using ELISA (R & D Systams). MDA-MB-468 cells were exposed to sunitinib for 18 hours for measuring proliferation (3H-thymidine incorporation), migration (BD Invasion Chamber), and apoptosis (ApopTag and ApoScreen Anuexin V Kit). The effect of sunitinib on Notch-1 expression was determined by Western blot in cultured MDA-MB-468 cells. 10(6) MDA-MB-468 cells were inoculated into the left fourth mammary gland fat pad in athymic nude-foxn1 mice. When the tumor volume reached 100 mm(3), sunitinib was given by gavage at 80 mg/kg/2 days for 4 weeks. Tumor angiogenesis was determined by CD31 immunohistochemistry. Breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) isolated from the tumors were determined by flow cytometry analysis using CD44(+)/CD24(-) or low. ELISA indicated that VEGF was much more highly expressed in MDA-MB-468 cells than MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. Sunitinib significantly inhibited the proliferation, invasion, and apoptosis resistance in cultured basal like breast cancer cells. Sunitinib significantly increased the expression of Notch-1 protein in cultured MDA-MB-468 or MDA-MB-231 cells. The xenograft models showed that oral sunitinib significantly reduced the tumor volume of TNBCs in association with the inhibition of tumor angiogeneisis, but increased breast CSCs. These findings support the hypothesis that the possibility should be considered of sunitinib increasing breast CSCs though it inhibits TNBC tumor angiogenesis and growth/progression, and that effects of sunitinib on Notch expression and hypoxia may increase breast cancer stem cells. This work provides the groundwork for an innovative therapeutic strategy in TNBC therapy by using sunitinib plus γ-secretase inhibitor to simultaneously target angiogenesis and CSC.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Vascular Cell
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    • "In general, the sunitinib - trastuzumab combination appeared to have an acceptable safety profile that was broadly consistent with the profiles of both drugs administered as monotherapy [13,32,34], with the majority of AEs being of mild to moderate severity. Dosing modifications were frequently used to manage AEs, with 80% of patients having temporary treatment discontinuations and/or dose reductions of one or both study drugs due to AEs. "
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    ABSTRACT: This phase II study evaluated the efficacy and safety/tolerability of sunitinib plus trastuzumab in patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer (ABC). Eligible patients received sunitinib 37.5 mg/day and trastuzumab administered either weekly (loading, 4 mg/kg; then weekly 2 mg/kg) or 3-weekly (loading, 8 mg/kg; then 3-weekly 6 mg/kg). Prior trastuzumab and/or lapatinib treatment were permitted. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR). Sixty patients were enrolled and evaluable for safety; 57 were evaluable for efficacy. The majority of patients (58%) had received no prior chemotherapy in the metastatic setting. The ORR was 37%; the clinical benefit rate (CBR; percent objective response plus stable disease >= 24 weeks) was 56%. Among patients who were treatment-naive or had received only adjuvant therapy, the ORR was 44% and the CBR was 59%. Overall, median overall survival had not been reached and the 1-year survival rate was 91%. The majority of adverse events (AEs) were mild to moderate in severity. Forty percent of patients experienced AEs related to measured left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) declines, which occurred more frequently in patients who had received prior anthracycline treatment. Ten percent of patients exhibited symptoms related to LVEF declines. One patient died on study from cardiogenic shock. Antitumor response and several safety parameters appeared to correlate with sunitinib exposure. Sunitinib plus trastuzumab demonstrated antitumor activity in patients with HER2-positive ABC, particularly those who were treatment-naive or had only received prior adjuvant treatment. Sunitinib plus trastuzumab had acceptable safety and tolerability in patients with HER2-positive ABC who had not received prior anthracycline therapy.Trial registration: NCT00243503.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · BMC Cancer
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