Clinical Trial of Oral Nelfinavir before and during Radiation Therapy for Advanced Rectal Cancer.
Hill EJ., Roberts C., Franklin JM., Enescu M., West N., MacGregor TP., Chu K-Y., Boyle L., Blesing C., Wang L-M., Mukherjee S., Anderson EM., Brown G., Dutton S., Love SB., Schnabel JA., Quirke P., Muschel R., McKenna WG., Partridge M., Sharma RA.
Nelfinavir, a PI3K pathway inhibitor, is a radiosensitizer that increases tumor blood flow in preclinical models. We conducted an early-phase study to demonstrate the safety of nelfinavir combined with hypofractionated radiotherapy (RT) and to develop biomarkers of tumor perfusion and radiosensitization for this combinatorial approach.Ten patients with T3-4 N0-2 M1 rectal cancer received 7 days of oral nelfinavir (1,250 mg b.i.d.) and a further 7 days of nelfinavir during pelvic RT (25 Gy/5 fractions/7 days). Perfusion CT (p-CT) and DCE-MRI scans were performed pretreatment, after 7 days of nelfinavir and prior to the last fraction of RT. Biopsies taken pretreatment and 7 days after the last fraction of RT were analyzed for tumor cell density (TCD).There were 3 drug-related grade 3 adverse events: diarrhea, rash, and lymphopenia. On DCE-MRI, there was a mean 42% increase in medianKtrans, and a corresponding median 30% increase in mean blood flow on p-CT during RT in combination with nelfinavir. Median TCD decreased from 24.3% at baseline to 9.2% in biopsies taken 7 days after RT (P= 0.01). Overall, 5 of 9 evaluable patients exhibited good tumor regression on MRI assessed by tumor regression grade (mrTRG).This is the first study to evaluate nelfinavir in combination with RT without concurrent chemotherapy. It has shown that nelfinavir-RT is well tolerated and is associated with increased blood flow to rectal tumors. The efficacy of nelfinavir-RT versus RT alone merits clinical evaluation, including measurement of tumor blood flow.