Background: The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signal transduction pathway integrates signals from multiple receptor tyrosine kinases to control cell proliferation and survival. Everolimus (RAD001, Novartis Pharmaceuticals) is an oral investigational antineoplastic agent that targets mTOR.

Objectives: To learn the anti-tumor activity and toxicity of single-agent RAD001 in pts with relapsed/refractory aggressive NHL.

Patients and Methods: Patients were eligible if they had measurable disease, a platelet count >75,000, an absolute neutrophil count >1,000, and a creatinine and bilirubin <2x laboratory upper limit of normal. Patients received RAD001 10 mg PO daily and were evaluated monthly. Dose reductions to 5 mg daily and 5 mg every other day were allowed. Response was assessed after 2 cycles and periodically thereafter. Patients could remain on drug until progression or toxicity.

Results: Thirty-seven pts were treated - 20 (54%) with relapsed diffuse large cell (DLC), 14 (38%) with relapsed mantle cell (MCL), 2 high grade, and 1 follicular grade III. The median age was 72 years (range, 45–92). Patients had received a median of 4 prior therapies (range, 1–15). The overall response rate was 32% (12/37; 95% CI:20–49%) with 1 complete response and 11 partial responses. The ORR was 35% (7/20) in the DLC group and 29% (4/14) in the MCL patients. Patients have received a median of 2 cycles (range, 1–16+) of therapy. The median time to progression for all 37 patients is 3.1 months (95%CI; 2.0 – 4.7). The median duration of response for the 12 responders is 5.5 months (95% CI; 2.3 – 9.2) and 5 pts remained progression free at 6 months. Three patients are currently maintaining a response with a median time of 10.5 months (range, 2.9–15.6+months). RAD001 was well tolerated. The incidence of grade 3 anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia in this heavily pretreated pt population was 11%, 16%, and 30%. Two pts developed grade 4 neutropenia. Grade 2 hypercholesterolemia occurred in 11%; grade 2 hyperglycemia in 16%; grade 3 hyperglycemia in 11% and 1 pt had grade 4 hypertriglyceridemia.

Summary: RAD001 has single-agent activity in relapsed aggressive NHL and provides proof-of-concept that targeting the mTOR pathway in NHL is clinically relevant.

Author notes

Disclosure:Research Funding: Mayo received research funding from Novartis to support the conduct of this trial. Membership Information: Dr. Witzig served on a Novartis Advisory Board with the fee payable to Mayo Foundation.