A Phase I Trial of Trametinib in Combination with Sorafenib in Patients with Advanced Hepatocellular Cancer

Richard Kim, Elaine Tan, Emily Wang, Amit Mahipal, Dung Tsa Chen, Biwei Cao, Fadzai Masawi, Cindy Machado, James Yu, Dae Won Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lessons Learned: The combination of trametinib and sorafenib has an acceptable safety profile, albeit at doses lower than approved for monotherapy. Maximum tolerated dose is trametinib 1.5 mg daily and sorafenib 200 mg twice daily. The limited anticancer activity observed in this unselected patient population does not support further exploration of trametinib plus sorafenib in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Background: The RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK signaling pathway is associated with proliferation and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Preclinical data suggest that paradoxical activation of the MAPK pathway may be one of the resistance mechanisms of sorafenib; therefore, we evaluated trametinib plus sorafenib in HCC. Methods: This was a phase I study with a 3+3 design in patients with treatment-naïve advanced HCC. The primary objective was safety and tolerability. The secondary objective was clinical efficacy. Results: A total of 17 patients were treated with three different doses of trametinib and sorafenib. Two patients experienced dose-limiting toxicity, including grade 4 hypertension and grade 3 elevation of aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/alanine aminotransferase (ALT)/bilirubin over 7 days. Maximum tolerated dose was trametinib 1.5 mg daily and sorafenib 200 mg twice a day. The most common grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse events were elevated AST (37%) and hypertension (24%). Among 11 evaluable patients, 7 (63.6%) had stable disease with no objective response. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 3.7 and 7.8 months, respectively. Phosphorylated-ERK was evaluated as a pharmacodynamic marker, and sorafenib plus trametinib inhibited phosphorylated-ERK up to 98.1% (median: 81.2%) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Conclusion: Trametinib and sorafenib can be safely administered up to trametinib 1.5 mg daily and sorafenib 200 mg twice a day with limited anticancer activity in advanced HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1893-e1899
JournalOncologist
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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