Background: Receptor tyrosine kinases such as epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs) and their downstream signaling pathways such as the Ras-Raf-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway play important roles in glioblastoma (GBM). This study investigated the safety, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of sorafenib (Ras/Raf/MAPK inhibitor) in combination with erlotinib (EGFR inhibitor) for treatment of recurrent GBMs.
Methods: Patients with recurrent GBM were eligible. A novel sequential accrual trial design was used, where patients were sequentially accrued into separate treatment arms in phase I and phase II investigations to optimize recruitment efficiency. In phase I, a standard 3 + 3 format was used to identify dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), determine maximum tolerated dose (MTD), and investigate pharmacokinetics. Phase II followed a 2-stage design with the primary endpoint being 6-month progression-free survival (PFS6).
Results: Sixteen patients were recruited for phase I, and the MTD was determined to be sorafenib 200 mg twice daily and erlotinib 100 mg once daily. DLTs include Grade 3 hypertension, Grade 3 elevated liver transaminases, and Grade 4 elevated lipase. While erlotinib did not affect sorafenib levels, sorafenib reduced erlotinib levels. In phase II, 3 of 19 stage 1 participants were progression free at 6 months. This did not meet the predetermined efficacy endpoint, and the trial was terminated.
Conclusion: This study identified the MTD and DLTs for sorafenib and erlotinib combination therapy for recurrent GBMs; however, efficacy data did not meet the primary endpoint. This study also demonstrates the feasibility of a novel sequential accrual clinical trial design that optimizes patient recruitment for multiarm studies, which is particularly effective for multicenter clinical trials.
Keywords: erlotinib; glioblastoma; molecular therapy; novel trial design; sorafenib.
Neurooncol Adv (2020) 2(1):vdaa124
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