This multi-center Phase II study evaluated lapatinib, pazopanib, and the combination in patients with relapsed HER2+ inflammatory breast cancer. In Cohort 1, 76 patients were randomized 1:1 to receive lapatinib 1,500 mg + placebo or lapatinib 1,500 mg + pazopanib 800 mg (double-blind) once daily until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or death. Due to high-grade diarrhea observed with this dose combination in another study (VEG20007), Cohort 1 was closed. The protocol was amended such that an additional 88 patients (Cohort 2) were randomized in a 5:5:2 ratio to receive daily monotherapy lapatinib 1,500 mg, lapatinib 1,000 mg + pazopanib 400 mg, or monotherapy pazopanib 800 mg, respectively. The primary endpoint was overall response rate (ORR). Secondary endpoints included duration of response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and safety. In Cohort 1, ORR for the lapatinib (n = 38) and combination (n = 38) arms was 29 and 45 %, respectively; median PFS was 16.1 and 14.3 weeks, respectively. Grade ≥3 adverse events (AEs) were more frequent in the combination arm (71 %) than in the lapatinib arm (24 %). Dose reductions and interruptions due to AEs were also more frequent in the combination arm (45 and 53 %, respectively) than in the lapatinib monotherapy arm (0 and 11 %, respectively). In Cohort 2, ORR for patients treated with lapatinib (n = 36), lapatinib + pazopanib (n = 38), and pazopanib (n = 13) was 47, 58, and 31 %, respectively; median PFS was 16.0, 16.0, and 11.4 weeks, respectively. In the lapatinib, combination, and pazopanib therapy arms, grade ≥3 AEs were reported for 17, 50, and 46 % of patients, respectively, and the incidence of discontinuations due to AEs was 0, 24, and 23 %, respectively. The lapatinib–pazopanib combination was associated with a numerically higher ORR but no increase in PFS compared to lapatinib alone. The combination also had increased toxicity resulting in more dose reductions, modifications, and treatment delays. Activity with single-agent lapatinib was confirmed in this population.
Lapatinib; Pazopanib; Inflammatory breast cancer; HER2-positive breast cancer
Lapatinib, a dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/ErbB1) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2/ErbB2), is effective against HER-2–positive locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer (MBC). This phase III trial evaluated the efficacy of lapatinib in HER-2–negative and HER-2–uncharacterized MBC.
Patients and Methods
Women with MBC were randomly assigned to first-line therapy with paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 every 3 weeks plus lapatinib 1,500 mg/d or placebo. A preplanned retrospective evaluation of HER-2 status was performed using fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. The primary end point was time to progression (TTP); secondary end points were objective response rate (ORR), clinical benefit rate (CBR), event-free survival (EFS), and overall survival (OS).
In the intent-to-treat population (n = 579), there were no significant differences in TTP, EFS, or OS between treatment arms, although differences in ORR and CBR were noted. In 86 HER-2–positive patients (15%), treatment with paclitaxel-lapatinib resulted in statistically significant improvements in TTP, EFS, ORR, and CBR compared with paclitaxel-placebo. No differences between treatment groups were observed for any end point in HER-2–negative patients. The most common adverse events were alopecia, rash, and diarrhea. The incidence of diarrhea and rash was significantly higher in the paclitaxel-lapatinib arm. The rate of cardiac events was low, and no difference was observed between treatment arms.
Patients with HER-2–negative or HER-2–untested MBC did not benefit from the addition of lapatinib to paclitaxel. However, first-line therapy with paclitaxel-lapatinib significantly improved clinical outcomes in HER-2–positive patients. Prospective evaluation of the efficacy and safety of this combination is ongoing in early and metastatic HER-2–positive breast cancer patients.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/ErbB1) and HER2 (ErbB2/neu), members of the ErbB receptor tyrosine kinase family, are frequently overexpressed in breast cancer and are known to drive tumor growth and progression, making them promising targets for cancer therapy. Lapatinib is a selective competitive inhibitor of both the HER2 and EGFR tyrosine kinases. Although lapatinib showed significant activity in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, the role of EGFR in the response of breast cancer to lapatinib has not been defined. Here, we examined the role of EGFR expression levels in the sensitivity of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells to lapatinib. Depletion of EGFR by EGFR small-interfering RNA knockdown did not affect lapatinib sensitivity in these cells, whereas treated HER2 siRNA knockdown cells became more resistant to lapatinib. We conclude that the in vitro activity of lapatinib is not dependent on EGFR expression level in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells.
Preclinical data have demonstrated that the combination of antihuman epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (anti-HER2) and antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF)—targeted agents has antitumor activity; these data indicate certain patients with HER2-overexpressing breast cancer may derive clinical benefit from this combination. The purpose of this single-arm phase II study was to determine the efficacy and safety of the dual-targeting combination of lapatinib and bevacizumab. Women with HER2-overexpressing advanced breast cancer received 1,500 mg oral lapatinib daily plus 10 mg/kg IV bevacizumab every 2 weeks. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) at week 12; secondary endpoints included overall tumor response rate (ORR), clinical benefit rate (CBR), duration of response, time-to-response, PFS, and safety. Circulating tumor cells (CTC) and circulating endothelial cells (CEC) were measured at baseline and during study treatment as potential response markers. Fifty-two patients with stage IV disease were enrolled. The 12-week investigator-assessed PFS rate was 69.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 54.9, 81.3). Median PFS was 24.7 weeks (95% CI: 20.4, 35.1), and the CBR was 30.8% (95% CI: 18.7, 45.1). Of 45 patients with measurable disease, 6 were determined to have a partial response per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (ORR: 13.3%; 95% CI: 5.1, 26.8). The most common adverse events (AEs) included diarrhea, rash, and fatigue; most of these were either grade 1 or 2. Clinical responses were correlated with decreases in CTC and CEC. Lapatinib plus bevacizumab was active in patients with HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. The AE profile of the combination was consistent with the known profiles for these agents.
HER2; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Targeted therapy; Breast cancer; Lapatinib; Bevacizumab; VEGF
The use of lapatinib for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer is examined.
Lapatinib is a potent reversible and selective inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase domains of epidermal growth factor receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-2 that exerts its action by competitive binding to the intracellular ATP-binding site of the receptor. It is registered for the treatment of advanced or metastatic HER-2+ breast cancer in combination with capecitabine and for hormone receptor–positive breast cancer in combination with an aromatase inhibitor. Lapatinib administered orally once daily is moderately to well tolerated, with rash and gastrointestinal adverse events as the main toxicities. In studies on the efficacy of lapatinib, direct comparisons between lapatinib and trastuzumab are lacking. Results of ongoing randomized phase III studies with lapatinib or trastuzumab in combination with taxanes as first-line agents for metastatic breast cancer as well as in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings are awaited.
Lapatinib; Clinical pharmacology; EGFR; HER-2; Breast cancer; Review
Lapatinib is a dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/ErbB1) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/ErbB2). EGFR and HER2 overexpression is associated with aggressive breast cancer with a high risk of disease relapse and death. Although lapatinib targets both EGFR and HER2, its effects on HER2 appear to be more critical. The role of lapatinib in the first-line setting remains unclear. A phase II first-line monotherapy lapatinib trial in HER2-therapy-naïve metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients confirms efficacy in HER2-positive tumors. Retrospective analysis of a phase III, first-line MBC study confirmed incremental benefit from lapatinib and paclitaxel over paclitaxel alone in HER2-positive disease. A prospective phase III study confirms superiority of letrozole and lapatinib over letrozole alone in HER2-positive MBC. Further investigation is required to define the potential first-line role for lapatinib. Particular strengths appear to be its manageable toxicity profile, lack of cross resistance with trastuzumab, activity in central nervous system disease, and synergy in combination with other anticancer therapy. Current limitations are lack of dosing recommendations from early trials, lack of predictive biomarkers beyond HER2 status, and lack of large prospective phase III trials for HER2-positive disease in the first-line setting. The role of lapatinib in HER2-negative disease is unclear.
lapatinib; HER2; metastatic; first-line
Lapatinib is a dual inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human EGFR-2 (HER-2) tyrosine kinases. This study investigated the pharmacodynamic and clinical effects of lapatinib in patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
In total, 107 therapy-naive patients with locally advanced SCCHN were randomised (2 : 1) to receive lapatinib or placebo for 2–6 weeks before chemoradiation therapy (CRT). Endpoints included apoptosis and proliferation rates, clinical response, and toxicity.
Versus placebo, lapatinib monotherapy did not significantly increase apoptosis detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick-end labelling or caspase-3 assays. A statistically significant decrease in proliferation using Ki67 assay was observed (P=0.030). In a subset of 40 patients that received ⩾4 weeks of lapatinib or placebo, objective response rate (ORR) was 17% (n=4/24) vs 0% (n=0/16). In the lapatinib single-agent responders, all had EGFR overexpression, 50% had EGFR amplification, and 50% had HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry (including one patient with HER2 amplification). However, these patients showed variable modulation of apoptosis, proliferation, and phosphorylated EGFR on drug treatment. Following CRT, there was a statistically non-significant difference in ORR between lapatinib (70%) and placebo (53%). There was no clear correlation between changes in apoptosis or proliferation and response to chemoradiation. Mucosal inflammation, asthenia, odynophagia, and dysphagia were the most commonly reported adverse events with lapatinib.
Short-term lapatinib monotherapy did not demonstrate apoptotic changes, but provided evidence of clinical activity in locally advanced SCCHN, and warrants further investigation in this disease.
epidermal growth factor receptor; lapatinib; squamous cell carcinoma
Improved molecular understanding of breast cancer in recent years has led to the discovery of important drug targets such as HER-2 and EGFR. Lapatinib is a potent dual inhibitor of HER-2 and EGFR. Preclinical and phase I studies have shown activity with lapatinib in a number of cancers, including breast cancer, and the drug is well tolerated. The main known drug interactions are with paclitaxel and irinotecan. The most significant side-effects of lapatinib are diarrhea and adverse skin events. Rates of cardiotoxicity compare favorably with trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody against HER-2. This paper focuses on lapatinib in advanced and metastatic breast cancer, which remains an important therapeutic challenge. Phase II and III studies show activity as monotherapy, and in combination with chemotherapy or hormonal agents. Results from these studies suggest that the main benefit from lapatinib is in the HER-2 positive breast cancer population. Combinations of lapatinib and trastuzumab are also being studied and show encouraging results, particularly in trastuzumab-refractory metastatic breast cancer. Lapatinib may have a specific role in treating HER-2 positive CNS metastases. The role of lapatinib as neoadjuvant therapy and in early breast cancer is also being evaluated.
HER-2; EGFR; erbB; lapatinib; Tykerb®; tyrosine kinase
Resistance to chemotherapy is a major challenge in the treatment of ovarian/peritoneal cancer. One purported mechanism of topotecan resistance is the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) and P-glycoprotein (Pgp). We designed a phase II clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and adverse events profile of concomitant topotecan and lapatinib, a small molecule pan-erbB inhibitor that can block BCRP/Pgp efflux of topotecan.
Patients with platinum-refractory or resistant epithelial ovarian/peritoneal cancer were treated with topotecan 3.2 mg/m2 IV on Day 1, 8 and 15 and lapatinib 1250 mg PO daily, continuously in 28 day cycles. The primary endpoint was response rate. For correlative studies, archived tissue was assessed for expression of EGFR, HER2, HIF-1α, CD31, and BCRP.
Eighteen patients were enrolled and treated. Four experienced evidence of clinical benefit: one partial response and three with stable disease. Using a two-stage Simon design, the trial was stopped after the first stage due to insufficient activity. Grade 3+ and 4+ adverse events (AE) were experienced in 14 and 4 patients, respectively. The most common grade 3/4 AE were neutropenia (56%), thrombocytopenia (28%), and diarrhea (22%).
The combination of lapatinib plus topotecan for the treatment of platinum refractory/resistant epithelial ovarian cancer lacks sufficient activity to warrant further investigation. In particular, hematologic adverse events were substantial. Expression of correlative study markers did not reveal patterns of predicted benefit or toxicity. Disruption of erbB signaling and BCRP/Pgp efflux with lapatinib was insufficient for overcoming topotecan resistance, suggesting alternative mechanisms of resistance are involved.
A phase II trial was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER2, lapatinib, and to explore EGFR, HER2 (EGFR2), phosphorylated ERK MAP Kinase (pERK), and Ki67 expression, as well as EGFR mutations in persistent/recurrent endometrial cancer (EC).
Women with histologically-confirmed, measurable, persistent/recurrent EC following one or two prior regimens were eligible and treated with 1500 mg oral lapatinib daily until progression or severe toxicity. A 2-stage group sequential design was used to evaluate the regimen with 6 month PFS as the primary endpoint. The trial had a 10% type I error rate with 90% power. EGFR, HER2, pERK, and Ki67 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) from hysterectomy specimens, pre-treatment biopsies, and post-treatment biopsies (when available). Exons 18-21 of EGFR were sequenced.
Three patients of 30 evaluable had PFS ≥6 months, one had a partial response, seven had stable disease, 21 had progressive disease and one was indeterminate. Three mutations in EGFR were identified. Two of these, L688F and K754E, were not associated with response or PFS. However, a newly identified mutation in exon 18, E690K, occurred in the patient with a partial response and progression-free survival extending past six months.
While lapatinib has limited activity in unselected cases, the identification of a previously unreported mutation in EGFR (E690K) with a response, suggests that lapatinib may be beneficial in some cases of EC.
endometrial cancer; epidermal growth factor receptor; mutation; lapatinib; tyrosine kinase inhibitor
Lapatinib, a dual EGFR/HER2 kinase inhibitor, is approved for use in patients with trastuzumab-refractory HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. Increased PI3K signaling has been associated with resistance to trastuzumab, although its role in lapatinib resistance remains unclear. The purpose of the current study was to determine if PI3K/mTOR activity affects lapatinib sensitivity. Reduced sensitivity to lapatinib was associated with an inability of lapatinib to inhibit Akt and p70S6K phosphorylation. Transfection of constitutively active Akt reduced lapatinib sensitivity, while kinase-dead Akt increased sensitivity. Knockdown of 4EBP1 also increased lapatinib sensitivity, in contrast to p70S6K knockdown, which did not affect response to lapatinib. Pharmacologic inhibition of mTOR using rapamycin or ridaforolimus increased lapatinib sensitivity and reduced phospho-Akt levels in cells that showed poor response to single-agent lapatinib, including those transfected with hyperactive Akt. Finally, combination mTOR inhibition plus lapatinib resulted in synergistic inhibition of proliferation, reduced anchorage-independent growth, and reduced in vivo tumor growth of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells that have primary trastuzumab resistance. Our data suggest that PI3K/mTOR inhibition is critical for achieving optimal response to lapatinib. Collectively, these experiments support evaluation of lapatinib in combination with pharmacologic mTOR inhibition as a potential strategy for inhibiting growth of HER2-overexpressing breast cancers that show resistance to trastuzumab and poor response to lapatinib.
Akt; breast cancer; drug resistance; erbB2; HER2; Herceptin; lapatinib; MK-8669; mTOR; PI3K; p70S6K; rapamycin; ridaforolimus; Tykerb; trastuzumab
Analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) provides real-time measures of cancer sub-populations with potential for CTC-directed therapeutics. We examined whether lapatinib which binds both HER2 and EGFR could induce depletion of the EGFR-positive pool of CTCs, which may in turn lead to clinical benefits.
Patients and Methods
Patients with metastatic breast cancer and HER2 non-amplified primary tumors with EGFR-positive CTCs were recruited and lapatinib 1500 mg daily was administered, in a standard two step phase 2 trial.
There were no responses leading to termination at the first analysis with 16 patients recruited out of 43 screened. In 6 out of 14 (43%) individuals eligible for the efficacy analysis, a decrease in CTCs was observed with most of these having a greater decrease in their EGFR-positive CTC pool.
This is one of the first studies of CTC-directed therapeutics and suggests that lapatinib monotherapy is not having any demonstrable clinical effects by reducing the EGFR-positive pool of CTCs in HER2 non-amplified primary tumors. Our attempt to expand the pool of patients eligible for a targeted therapy was unsuccessful; the role of clonal populations in cancer biology and therapeutic strategies to control them will require extensive evaluation in years to come.
Clinical trials.gov NCT00820924
HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) relapsing after trastuzumab-based therapy may require continued HER2 receptor inhibition to control the disease and preserve the patients' quality-of-life. Efficacy and safety of lapatinib monotherapy was evaluated in Japanese breast cancer patients after trastuzumab-based therapies.
In studies, EGF100642 and EGF104911 evaluated the efficacy and safety of oral lapatinib given 1500 mg once daily in patients with advanced or MBC. All patients progressed on anthracyclines and taxanes; HER2-positive patients had also progressed on trastuzumab.
For HER2-positive tumours (n=100), objective response rate was 19.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 11.8–28.1) and clinical benefit rate (CBR) was 25.0% (95% CI: 16.9–34.7). One out of 22 HER2-negative tumour was documented as complete response (n=22). The median time-to-progression (TTP) in the HER2-positive and HER2-negative groups was 13.0 and 8.0 weeks (P=0.007); median overall survival was 58.3 and 40.0 weeks, respectively. The most frequent adverse event was diarrhoea. TTP and CBR were significantly associated with HER2 expression. Patients with tumours harbouring an H1047R PIK3CA mutation or low expression of PTEN derived clinical benefit from lapatinib.
Lapatinib monotherapy had shown anti-tumour activity in Japanese patients with HER2-positive MBC that relapsed after trastuzumab-based therapy, including those with brain metastases. Patients benefiting from lapatinib may have biomarker profiles differing from that reported for trastuzumab.
lapatinib; monotherapy; HER2; metastatic breast cancer; biomarker; trastuzumab
Lapatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of HER2 and EGFR and is approved, in combination with capecitabine, for the treatment of trastuzumab-refractory metastatic breast cancer. In order to establish a possible gene expression response to lapatinib, a panel of breast cancer cell lines with varying sensitivity to lapatinib were analysed using a combination of microarray and qPCR profiling.
Co-inertia analysis (CIA), a data integration technique, was used to identify transcription factors associated with the lapatinib response on a previously published dataset of 96 microarrays. RNA was extracted from BT474, SKBR3, EFM192A, HCC1954, MDAMB453 and MDAMB231 breast cancer cell lines displaying a range of lapatinib sensitivities and HER2 expression treated with 1 μM of lapatinib for 12 hours and quantified using Taqman RT-PCR. A fold change ≥ ± 2 was considered significant.
A list of 421 differentially-expressed genes and 8 transcription factors (TFs) whose potential regulatory impact was inferred in silico, were identified as associated with lapatinib response. From this group, a panel of 27 genes (including the 8 TFs) were selected for qPCR validation. 5 genes were determined to be significantly differentially expressed following the 12 hr treatment of 1 μM lapatinib across all six cell lines. Furthermore, the expression of 4 of these genes (RB1CC1, FOXO3A, NR3C1 and ERBB3) was directly correlated with the degree of sensitivity of the cell line to lapatinib and their expression was observed to “switch” from up-regulated to down-regulated when the cell lines were arranged in a lapatinib-sensitive to insensitive order. These included the novel lapatinib response-associated genes RB1CC1 and NR3C1. Additionally, Cyclin D1 (CCND1), a common regulator of the other four proteins, was also demonstrated to observe a proportional response to lapatinib exposure.
A panel of 5 genes were determined to be differentially expressed in response to lapatinib at the 12 hour time point examined. The expression of these 5 genes correlated directly with lapatinib sensitivity. We propose that the gene expression profile may represent both an early measure of the likelihood of sensitivity and the level of response to lapatinib and may therefore have application in early response detection.
Co-inertia analysis; Microarray; Lapatinib response; Breast cancer
In patients with breast cancer with overexpression of the HER2 receptor, during treatment with trastuzumab, in 30% of cases brain metastases are observed. The use of lapatinib with capecitabine (L + C) seems to be an efficacious method of curing patients in whom the spread of cancer in this location has occurred. In a patient aged 52 treated by the L + C scheme a stabilization of changes in the brain was noted, lingering for 17 months. The tolerance of the treatment was good. Grade 2 hand-foot syndrome on the NCI 2,0 scale, nausea, a first degree increase in transaminase levels and first degree diarrhea were observed. No hematological or cardiac complications were observed.
In the third phase test comparing capecitabine with capecitabine and lapatinib in patients with advanced breast cancer, adding lapatinib to capecitabine significantly prolonged the time until progression and contributed to lessening of the amount of progression of the condition into the central nervous system. Recently published studies showed 6% remission of metastases to the central nervous system in patients with advanced breast cancer with brain metastases treated with lapatinib and 20–21% in patients receiving lapatinib with capecitabine. Future studies evaluating the effectiveness of lapatinib in patients with spread into the central nervous system should include the evaluation of lapatinib in association with cytostatics able to break through the blood-brain barrier. Lapatinib should also be tested in association with brain radiation, considering the results of preclinical studies indicating that it may work as a radiation sensitizer.
breast cancer; brain metastases; lapatinib
Reported are results from a subgroup analysis of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor–positive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–positive metastatic breast cancer from a phase III trial of letrozole plus placebo versus letrozole plus lapatinib. The combination was well tolerated and more efficacious than letrozole alone.
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of letrozole plus lapatinib versus letrozole plus placebo in women with hormone receptor (HR)+ human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-2+ tumors receiving first-line therapy for metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
Patients and Methods.
Postmenopausal women (n = 1,286) with HR+ MBC were randomized to daily oral treatment with letrozole (2.5 mg) plus lapatinib (1,500 mg) versus letrozole (2.5 mg) plus placebo. Of the 1,286 patients enrolled in the phase III study, 219 had HER-2+ tumors. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) in HER-2+ patients.
Results in the HR+ HER-2+ population (n = 219) are presented. The addition of lapatinib to letrozole resulted in a significantly lower risk for disease progression than with letrozole alone (hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.53–0.96). The PFS time was 8.2 months, versus 3.0 months. The objective response rate (ORR) (28% versus 15%) and clinical benefit rate (CBR) (48% versus 29%) were also significantly greater in lapatinib-treated women. The most common adverse events in the lapatinib group were diarrhea (68%) and rash (46%), primarily grade 1 and 2.
The addition of lapatinib to letrozole is well tolerated and leads to a significantly greater PFS time, ORR, and CBR than with letrozole alone in women with MBC who coexpress HR and HER-2.
Breast neoplasms; Lapatinib; Letrozole; Aromatase inhibitors; Targeted therapy; erbB-2; HER-2
Systemic chemotherapy fails to access much of the tumor burden in patients with advanced cancer, significantly limiting its efficacy. In preclinical studies, brief high doses of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) targeting the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (HER) family can prime tumor vasculature for optimal chemotherapeutic delivery and efficacy. This study investigates the clinical relevance of this approach.
A phase I clinical study of escalating doses of the HER TKI lapatinib given as a 2-day pulse prior to a weekly infusion of nab-paclitaxel (100 mg/m2) was conducted in patients with advanced solid tumors.
Twenty-five patients were treated. Treatment was associated with grade 1-2 toxicities including diarrhea, nausea, rash, neutropenia, neuropathy, fatigue, alopecia, and anemia. The two dose-limiting toxicities were grade 3 vomiting and grade 4 neutropenia and the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of lapatinib was defined as 5250 mg/day in divided doses. Lapatinib concentrations increased with increasing dose. Dynamic Contrast Enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) studies in a subset of patients confirmed a decrease in tumor vascular permeability immediately following a lapatinib pulse. Sixty-five percent of evaluable patients experienced a partial or stable response on this therapy, 72% of whom were previously taxane-refractory.
A two day pulse of high dose lapatinib given prior to weekly nab-paclitaxel is a feasible and tolerable clinical regimen, suitable for testing this novel vascular-priming chemosensitization hypothesis developed in preclinical models.
The standard targeted therapy for HER2-overexpressing breast cancer is the HER2 monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab. Although effective, many patients eventually develop trastuzumab resistance. The dual EGFR/HER2 small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor lapatinib is approved for use in trastuzumab-refractory metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. However, lapatinib resistance is a problem as most patients with trastuzumab-refractory disease do not benefit from lapatinib. Understanding the mechanisms underlying lapatinib resistance may ultimately facilitate development of new therapeutic strategies for HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. Our current results indicate that MEK inhibition increases lapatinib-mediated cytotoxicity in resistant HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. We genetically and pharmacologically blocked MEK/ERK signaling and evaluated lapatinib response by trypan blue exclusion, anchorage-independent growth assays, flow cytometric cell cycle and apoptosis analysis, and in tumor xenografts. Combined MEK inhibition and lapatinib treatment reduced phosphorylated ERK more than single agent treatment. In addition, Western blots, immunofluorescence, and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the combination of MEK inhibitor plus lapatinib reduced nuclear expression of the MEK/ERK downstream proto-oncogene FOXM1. Genetic knockdown of MEK was tested for the ability to increase lapatinib-mediated cell cycle arrest or apoptosis in JIMT-1 and MDA361 cells. Finally, xenograft studies demonstrated that combined pharmacological inhibition of MEK plus lapatinib suppressed tumor growth and reduced expression of FOXM1 in HER2-overexpressing breast cancers that are resistant to trastuzumab and lapatinib. Our results suggest that FoxM1 contributes to lapatinib resistance downstream of MEK signaling, and supports further study of pharmacological MEK inhibition to improve response to lapatinib in HER2-overexpressing trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer.
lapatinib; HER2; erbB2; breast cancer; resistance; MEK
Lapatinib, a HER2/EGFR inhibitor, is a recently approved targeted therapy for metastatic breast cancer. As lapatinib enhances the efficacy of the antimetabolite capecitabine in breast cancer patients, we lapatinib also enhance the activity of anti-cancer agents in colorectal cancer. We found that lapatinib the pro-apoptotic effects of Tumor necrosis factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) and TRAIL receptor antibodies mapatumumab and lexatumumab. Tumors from mice treated with lapatinibTRAIL exhibited more immunostaining for cleaved caspase-8, the extrinsic cell death pathway, tumors from mice treated with lapatinib or TRAIL alone. Furthermore, combination therapy suppressed tumor growth more effectively than treatment. apatinib up-the proapoptotic TRAIL death receptors DR4 and DR5, leading to more efficient induction of apoptosis in the presence of TRAIL receptor agonistsThis activity was independent of EGFR and HER2 off-target induction of DR5 by lapatinib activation of the JNK/c-Jun signaling axis. This activity of lapatinib on TRAIL death receptor expression and signaling may confer therapeutic benefit when increased doses of lapatinib are used in combination with TRAIL-receptor-activating agents.
Lapatinib is a dual inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) with activity in HER2-amplified metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Its role in non–HER2-amplified MBC remains unclear. EGF30001, a phase III trial of lapatinib and paclitaxel versus paclitaxel and placebo, demonstrated lapatinib does not significantly benefit HER2-negative or HER2-unselected patients with MBC. Published data support interactions between steroid hormone and peptide growth factor signaling. We hypothesized that molecular subgroups may exist within EGF30001 that would benefit from lapatinib.
A blinded, retrospective biomarker evaluation was performed using immunohistochemistry to semiquantitate estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR), and EGFR expression. HER2 amplification was determined by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Effects of these biomarkers on event-free survival (EFS) were examined in patients with available tissue (n = 493).
Lapatinib improved median EFS in HER2-amplified, ER- or PR-positive MBC (n = 36; 5.7 v 4.5 months; P = .351); benefit was greater and statistically significant in HER2-amplified, ER-negative, PR-negative MBC (n = 42; 8.3 v 5.0 months; P = .007). In HER2-negative, ER-positive MBC, median EFS improvement varied by degree of PR expression (H-score): no benefit if PR-strong (n = 133; 9.3 v 7.3 months; P = .373), benefit if PR-weak (n = 50; 7.3 v 2.4 months; P = .026), and potential antagonism if PR-negative (n = 40; 3.7 v 7.2 months; P = .004). No benefit was seen in triple-negative MBC (n = 131; median EFS, 4.6 v 4.8 months; P = .255). EGFR expression was not correlated with benefit from lapatinib.
Although subgroups are small, these analyses support the hypothesis that semiquantitative determination of hormone receptor status may be a surrogate for EGFR and/or HER2 dependency.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most frequent tumors worldwide. The majority of HCC cases occur in patients with chronic liver disease. Despite regular surveillance to detect small HCC in these patients, HCC is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Because HCC is highly resistant to conventional systemic therapies, the prognosis for advanced HCC patients remains poor. The introduction of sorafenib as the standard systemic therapy has unveiled a new direction for future research regarding HCC treatment. However, given the limited efficacy of the drug, a need exists to look beyond sorafenib. Many molecular targeted agents that inhibit different pathways involved in hepatocarcinogenesis are under various phases of clinical development, and novel targets are being assessed in HCC. This review aims to summarize the efforts to target molecular components of the signaling pathways that are responsible for the development and progression of HCC and to discuss perspectives on the future direction of research.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Targeted therapy; Molecular agents; Sorafenib
Background: Lapatinib (GW572016) is a dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/ErbB2), which are reported as overexpressed in 15%–45% of gastric cancers, making them potential targets.
Patients and methods: The primary objective of this study was to assess response rate. Secondary objectives included overall survival (OS), toxicity, and the relationship of EGFR, ErbB2, and markers of angiogenesis with clinical outcome. Lapatinib was administered to chemonaive metastatic gastric cancer patients at a dose of 1500 mg orally daily for 28 days.
Results: The study enrolled 47 patients from February 2005 until May 2006. Four patients (9%) had a confirmed partial response (PR), 1 (2%) had an unconfirmed PR, and 10 (23%) had stable disease. Median (95% confidence interval) time to treatment failure was 1.9 (1.6–3.1) months and OS was 4.8 (3.2–7.4) months. Significant adverse events: one grade 4 cardiac ischemia/infarction, one grade 4 fatigue, and one grade 4 emesis. One treatment-related death was due to central nervous system ischemia. An exploratory analysis of markers revealed gene expression of HER2, interleukin (IL)-8 and genomic polymorphisms IL-8, and vascular endothelial growth factor correlated with OS.
Conclusions: Lapatinib is well tolerated, with modest single-agent activity in advanced/metastatic gastric cancer patients. Potential molecular correlatives were identified which warrant further validation.
EGFR; gastric cancer; HER2; lapatinib
Lapatinib is approved in combination with capecitabine for treatment of patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) who have progressed on prior trastuzumab in the metastatic setting. Vinorelbine is an important chemotherapy option for MBC. We evaluated efficacy and safety of lapatinib plus vinorelbine, compared with lapatinib plus capecitabine, in women with HER2-positive MBC. In this open-label, multicenter, phase II study, eligible patients (N = 112) were randomized 2:1 to lapatinib plus vinorelbine [(N = 75) 1,250 mg orally once daily (QD) continuously plus 20 mg/m2/day intravenously] or lapatinib plus capecitabine [(N = 37) 1,250 mg orally QD continuously plus 2,000 mg/m2/day orally, 2 doses]. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Other endpoints included overall survival (OS) and safety. Patients progressing within the study were given the option of crossover to the other treatment arm; time to second progression was an exploratory endpoint. Patient demographics, stratification, and prognostic factors were well balanced between treatments. Median PFS in both arms was 6.2 months [95 % confidence interval (CI) 4.2, 8.8 (lapatinib plus vinorelbine); 4.4, 8.3 (lapatinib plus capecitabine)]. Median OS on lapatinib plus vinorelbine was 24.3 months (95 % CI 16.4, NE) and 19.4 months (95 % CI 16.4, 27.2) on lapatinib plus capecitabine. In total, 42 patients opted to cross over; median PFS was 3.2 months (95 % CI 1.7, 5.1) on lapatinib plus vinorelbine and 4.0 months (95 % CI 2.1, 5.8) on lapatinib plus capecitabine. Lapatinib plus vinorelbine offers an effective treatment option for patients with HER2-overexpressing MBC, having displayed comparable efficacy and tolerability rates to lapatinib plus capecitabine.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10549-013-2828-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Breast cancer; HER2; Lapatinib; Vinorelbine; Capecitabine
Topotecan resistance can result from drug efflux by P-glycoprotein (Pgp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) as well as survival signals initiated by epidermal growth factor receptor family members. The present studies were done to determine the effect of combining topotecan and the dual epidermal growth factor receptor/HER2 inhibitor lapatinib in tissue culture, a murine xenograft model, and a phase I clinical trial.
The effects of lapatinib on topotecan accumulation and cytotoxicity in vitro were examined in paired cell lines lacking or expressing Pgp or BCRP. Antiproliferative effects of the combination were assessed in mice bearing HER2+ BT474 breast cancer xenografts. Based on tolerability in this preclinical model, 37 patients with advanced-stage cancers received escalating doses of lapatinib and topotecan in a phase I trial.
Lapatinib increased topotecan accumulation in BCRP- or Pgp-expressing cells in vitro, and the combination showed enhanced efficacy in HER2+ BT474 xenografts. In the phase I study, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue were dose limiting. The maximum tolerated doses were 1,250 mg/d lapatinib by mouth for 21or 28 days with 3.2 mg/m2 topotecan i.v. on days1, 8, and 15 of 28-day cycles. Pharmacokinetic analyses showed that combined drug administration resulted in decreased topotecan clearance consistent with transporter-mediated interactions. Seventeen (46%) patients had disease stabilization.
The lapatinib/topotecan combination is well tolerated and warrants further study.
Lapatinib, an oral, reversible inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) tyrosine kinase, has proven antitumor activity in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) is indicated for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy. This was an open-label, single-arm, multicenter, Phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of nab-paclitaxel plus lapatinib in women with HER2 over-expressing MBC who had received no more than one prior chemotherapeutic regimen. The primary efficacy endpoint was the overall response rate (ORR). This was defined as the percentage of patients having either a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR). Secondary efficacy endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, duration of response (DoR), time to response (TTR), and time to progression (TTP). Investigator-assessed ORR was 53 % (n = 32, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 40.7–66.0) with the majority of patient responses demonstrating a PR (47 %). Four (7 %) patient responses demonstrated a CR, and ten (17 %) a stable disease. The median Kaplan–Meier estimate of investigator-assessed PFS, DoR, TTR, and TTP was 39.7 weeks (95 % CI 34.1–63.9), 48.7 weeks (95 % CI 31.7–57.1), 7.8 weeks (95 % CI 7.4–8.1), and 41 weeks (95 % CI 39.1–64.6), respectively. Lapatinib 1,000 mg with nab-paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 IV is feasible with manageable and predictable toxicity and an ORR of 53 % comparing favorably with other HER2-based combinations in this setting.
Breast cancer; HER2; Lapatinib; Nab-paclitaxel