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 journalArticle

    59 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 1 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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  • Cite this

    Samlowski, W. E., Moon, J., Tuthill, R. J., Heinrich, M. C., Balzer-Haas, N. S., Merl, S. A., DeConti, R. C., Thompson, J. A., Witter, M. T., Flaherty, L. E., & Sondak, V. K. (2010). A phase II trial of imatinib mesylate in merkel cell carcinoma (Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin): A Southwest oncology group study (S0331). American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials, 33(5), 495-499. https://doi.org/10.1097/COC.0b013e3181b9cf04