Investigational New Drugs

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 290–297 | Cite as

A phase I study of tivantinib in combination with temsirolimus in patients with advanced solid tumors

  • Christos E. KyriakopoulosEmail author
  • Amy M. Braden
  • Jill M. Kolesar
  • Jens C. Eickhoff
  • Howard H. Bailey
  • Jennifer Heideman
  • Glenn Liu
  • Kari B. Wisinski


Background A wide variety of human cancers exhibit dysregulated c-Met activity that has implications in oncogenesis. Phosphorylation of c-Met results in activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Combined blockade of c-Met and mTOR pathways has shown efficacy in preclinical studies. Tivantinib is a c-Met inhibitor and temsirolimus is a selective mTOR inhibitor. We aimed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the recommended phase II dose (RP2D), dose-limiting toxicities (DLT), adverse events (AEs), clinical activity and pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters of the combination. Methods This open-label phase I study used a 3 + 3 dose escalation design. Patients (pts) were treated with escalating doses of tivantinib (120–360 mg tablets orally twice daily) and temsirolimus (20 mg IV weekly) followed by dose expansion at the MTD. Separate cohorts were planned for extensive (normal) and poor tivantinib metabolizers based on CYP2C19 genotypes. Cycles were 28 days besides cycle 1 that was 35 days to allow for PK analysis. Results Twenty-nine pts. [median age 58 (range 28–77)] were enrolled (21 in dose escalation and 8 in dose expansion). All were extensive CYP2C19 metabolizers. The most common types of cancer were colorectal, ovarian and non-small cell lung. Sixteen out of 21 and 6 out of 8 pts. were evaluable for DLT evaluation per protocol in the dose escalation and dose expansion phases, respectively. Pts remained on study for a median of 71 days (range 18–296). The MTD and RP2D was tivantinib 240 mg twice daily and temsirolimus 20 mg weekly. DLTs included grade (gr) 4 neutropenia (2 pts.; 1 with gr 3 febrile neutropenia), gr 3 abdominal pain (1 pt) and gr 2 mucositis resulting in inadequate drug delivery. The most common treatment related AEs grade ≥ 2 included: anemia (gr 2 in 9 pts., gr 3 in 3 pts), fatigue (gr 2 in 10 pts), anorexia (gr 2 in 9 pts), hypoalbuminemia (gr 2 in 6 pts., gr 3 in 2 pts), hypophosphatemia (gr 2 in 2 pts., gr 3 in 5 pts) and nausea (gr 2 in 6 pts., gr 3 in 1 pt). One pt. with ovarian cancer had a confirmed partial response and remained on study for 10 months, a second patient with ovarian cancer had stable disease and remained on study for 6 months and a third pt. with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue had stable disease and remained on study for 7 months. Pharmacokinetic analysis showed that there is no interaction in the plasma concentrations between tivantinib and temsirolimus. Conclusions The combination of tivantinib with temsirolimus appears to be well tolerated with evidence of clinical activity.


Tivantinib Temsirolimus Phase I C-met PI3K/AKT/mTOR 



The investigators gratefully acknowledge the patients and families who participated in this study. Funding was provided by the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA014520 to University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center and NCI U01CA062491-19S1 Early Clinical Trials of Anti-Cancer Agents with Phase I Emphasis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have declared no conflict of interest.


Funding was provided by the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA014520 to University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center and NCI U01CA062491-19S1 Early Clinical Trials of Anti-Cancer Agents with Phase I Emphasis.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christos E. Kyriakopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amy M. Braden
    • 1
  • Jill M. Kolesar
    • 1
  • Jens C. Eickhoff
    • 1
  • Howard H. Bailey
    • 1
  • Jennifer Heideman
    • 1
  • Glenn Liu
    • 1
  • Kari B. Wisinski
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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