A phase II trial of imatinib mesylate in merkel cell carcinoma (Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin): A Southwest oncology group study (S0331)

Wolfram E. Samlowski, James Moon, Ralph J. Tuthill, Michael C. Heinrich, Naomi S. Balzer-Haas, Stuart A. Merl, Ronald C. DeConti, John A. Thompson, Merle T. Witter, Lawrence E. Flaherty, Vernon K. Sondak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) was evaluated as a treatment for Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC, neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin) based on the identification of strong c-KIT staining of these neoplasms. Methods: Eligibility included patients with measurable metastatic or unresectable MCC, c-KIT (CD117) expression and a Zubrod performance status of 0 to 2. Imatinib 400 mg daily was administered orally in 28-day cycles to 23 patients. Results: Overall, imatinib was well tolerated with grade 1 or 2 nausea, diarrhea, and hematologic toxicity as the most frequent side effects. A partial response was seen in 1 patient (4%; 95% CI: 0%-22%). Median progression- free survival was 1 month (95% CI: 1-2 months). Median overall survival was 5 months (95% CI: 2-8 months). One patient achieved a partial response and another had prolonged disease stabilization while receiving treatment. Conclusions: The majority of patients progressed rapidly within 1 to 2 cycles of treatment. The observed progression-free survival and overall survival were not adequate to conclude that this agent was active in advanced MCC, and thus the planned second stage of patient accrual was not opened.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-499
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • C-KIT
  • Imatinib mesylate
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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