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      Temsirolimus for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: outcomes in patients receiving temsirolimus within a compassionate use program in a tertiary referral center

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          Temsirolimus has shown efficacy as first-line treatment of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma and poor prognostic features. The efficacy of temsirolimus in other clinical settings, such as second-line therapy, is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the outcomes of an unselected group of patients with renal cancer treated with temsirolimus in a compassionate use program.

          Patients and methods

          This retrospective analysis included all patients receiving temsirolimus at a tertiary referral center between November 2007 and October 2008. Information was obtained through review of patient notes, electronic records, and pharmacy records. Baseline characteristics, prognostic features, and previous treatments were recorded for all patients. Outcome measures were response rate, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicities.


          Thirty-eight patients were included in the analysis, with median age of 62 years, among whom 37% were untreated and 63% had received one or more previous treatments. Thirty-four percent of the patients had three or more poor prognostic factors. Four patients (11%) achieved a partial response (PR); in all four of these patients, the PR was confirmed by two subsequent computed tomography (CT) scans, and in one patient, the PR lasted for more than 18 months. A total of 34% achieved stable disease, and 50% had disease progression. Median OS was 7.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.8–10.5), and median PFS was 3.2 months (95% CI 1.0–5.5). Patients with two or fewer poor prognostic factors had a survival of 10.12 months compared with 5.03 months of those with three or more. Median survival was 14.9 months for untreated patients and 6.4 months for previously treated patients.


          Our results indicate some efficacy of temsirolimus in untreated patients with renal tumors and poor-intermediate prognosis, although the limitations of small sample size and retrospective nature must be taken into account. The role of temsirolimus in previously treated patients remains controversial given the recently published results of the INTORSECT trial and the discrepancies between the few published series.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Randomized phase II study of multiple dose levels of CCI-779, a novel mammalian target of rapamycin kinase inhibitor, in patients with advanced refractory renal cell carcinoma.

          To evaluate the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of multiple doses of CCI-779, a novel mammalian target of rapamycin kinase inhibitor, in patients with advanced refractory renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Patients (n = 111) were randomly assigned to receive 25, 75, or 250 mg CCI-779 weekly as a 30-minute intravenous infusion. Patients were evaluated for tumor response, time to tumor progression, survival, and adverse events. Blood samples were collected to determine CCI-779 pharmacokinetics. CCI-779 produced an objective response rate of 7% (one complete response and seven partial responses) and minor responses in 26% of these advanced RCC patients. Median time to tumor progression was 5.8 months and median survival was 15.0 months. The most frequently occurring CCI-779-related adverse events of all grades were maculopapular rash (76%), mucositis (70%), asthenia (50%), and nausea (43%). The most frequently occurring grade 3 or 4 adverse events were hyperglycemia (17%), hypophosphatemia (13%), anemia (9%), and hypertriglyceridemia (6%). Neither toxicity nor efficacy was significantly influenced by CCI-779 dose level. Patients were retrospectively classified into good-, intermediate-, or poor-risk groups on the basis of criteria used by Motzer et al for a first-line metastatic RCC population treated with interferon alfa. Within each risk group, the median survivals of patients at each dose level were similar. In patients with advanced RCC, CCI-779 showed antitumor activity and encouraging survival and was generally well tolerated over the three dose levels tested.
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            Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in the management of urologic malignancies.

            The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a protein kinase that regulates protein translation, cell growth, and apoptosis. Recently, there has been an enormous increase in our understanding on molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutics of rapamycin in cancer. Alterations in the pathway regulating mTOR occur in many solid malignancies including prostate, bladder, and kidney cancer; in vitro and in vivo models of prostate and bladder cancer have established the importance of the mTOR pathway in control of cancer progression and metastasis. Temsirolimus (Torisel) and everolimus (RAD-001), two ester analogues of rapamycin, as well as rapamycin itself have clear antitumor activity in in vitro and in vivo models and are under clinical trial investigations for prostate and bladder cancer. Phase II and III trials have already established the clinical efficacy of temsirolimus in renal cancer, and current renal trials are evaluating the combined effects of vascular endothelial growth factor and mTOR inhibition. Ongoing studies in prostate and bladder cancer will soon define the activity and safety profiles of everolimus and temsirolimus. Recent molecular advances have uncovered a startling complexity in the macromolecular function of mTOR complexes, with the identification of new mTOR partners (raptor, rictor, FKBP38, PRAS40, and mSIN1), putative cancer therapeutic/prognostic targets for future clinical trials.
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              Drug-related pneumonitis in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma treated with temsirolimus.

              Pneumonitis has occurred in patients treated with inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). In a phase III study of patients with previously untreated, poor-prognosis, advanced renal cell carcinoma (ARCC), the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus improved survival compared with interferon. We performed a retrospective, independent, blinded radiographic review of chest computed tomography (CT) images of patients in this study to characterize temsirolimus-related pneumonitis. Patients were treated with intravenous temsirolimus 25 mg once weekly or subcutaneous interferon alfa 3 million units, with an increase to 18 million units, thrice weekly. Drug-related pneumonitis was identified based on sequential chest CT images, required every 8 weeks, showing changes consistent with pneumonitis and not pneumonia (infection) or disease progression as correlated with clinical data. Cumulative probability of drug-related pneumonitis was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Eight (6%) of 138 and 52 (29%) of 178 evaluable patients on interferon and temsirolimus treatment, respectively, developed radiographically identified drug-related pneumonitis. Time to onset of pneumonitis was significantly shorter on the temsirolimus arm than on the interferon arm (log-rank P < .001). Estimated cumulative probability of pneumonitis at 8 and 16 weeks from first dose was 21% and 31%, respectively, on the temsirolimus arm and 6% and 8%, respectively, on the interferon arm. Respiratory symptoms were observed around time of onset of radiographically diagnosed temsirolimus-related pneumonitis in 16 (31%) of 52 patients. Patients with ARCC receiving temsirolimus should be monitored closely for development of pneumonitis, and their management should be altered if clinical symptoms appear.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                17 December 2014
                : 9
                : 13-19
                [1 ]Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
                [2 ]Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
                [3 ]Cancer Research Unit, Clinical Trials Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Emilio Porfiri, Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham, Vincent Drive, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK, Tel +44 7768 838 762, Email emilio.porfiri@ 123456uhb.nhs.uk

                *These authors have contributed equally to this work

                © 2015 Afshar et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                retrospective, tumor, toxicity, survival, renal cancer


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