Introduction Histone deacetylase inhibitors have been found to restore sensitivity to the estrogen receptor in endocrine-resistant and triple-negative breast cancer cell lines. We decided to test panobinostat, a pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor, because of preclinical data, combined with letrozole in a phase I study. Patients and Methods We enrolled patients with metastatic breast cancer to determine the safety and tumor response using Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors. Dose level 1 was panobinostat 20 mg orally 3 times weekly with oral letrozole 2.5 mg daily. Dose level 2 was panobinostat 30 mg orally 3 times weekly, with the same dose of letrozole. Results A total of 12 patients (6 at each dose level) were enrolled, and 43 cycles of treatment were given. Of the 6 patients at dose level 1, 1 experienced dose-limiting toxicity (20-mg dose level; an increase in creatinine). At the 30-mg dose level, 3 of 6 patients experienced dose-limiting toxicity, 1 each of grade 3 thrombocytopenia with bleeding, grade 4 thrombocytopenia, and grade 3 diarrhea. The maximum tolerated dose was 20 mg. Of the 12 patients, 2 experienced a partial response, and 5 had stable disease. The most common severe adverse event was thrombocytopenia, occurring in 4 of 12 patients. Conclusion The recommended phase II starting dose is panobinostat 20 mg orally 3 times weekly (eg, Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and oral letrozole 2.5 mg daily. This dose should be escalated to 30 mg orally 3 times weekly if no grade 3 toxicity has developed, because the partial responses occurred in patients receiving the 30-mg dose.
- Aromatase refractory
- Endocrine resistant breast cancer
- Histone deacetylase inhibitors
- Phase I study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research