Phase I trial of encapsulated rapamycin in patients with prostate cancer under active surveillance to prevent progression

Phillip M. Kemp Bohan*, Robert C. Chick, Anne E. O'Shea, Timothy J. Vreeland, Annelies T. Hickerson, Jessica L. Cindass, Daniel C. Ensley, Diane Hale, Guy T. Clifton, Vance Y. Sohn, Ian M. Thompson, George E. Peoples, Michael A. Liss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

No approved medical therapies prevent progression of low-grade prostate cancer. Rapamycin inhibits cell proliferation and augments immune responses, producing an antitumor effect. Encapsulated rapamycin (eRapa) incorporates rapamycin into a pH-sensitive polymer, ensuring consistent dosing. Here, we present results from a phase I trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of eRapa in patients with prostate cancer. Patients with Gleason ≤7 (3+4) disease (low and intermediate risk) under active surveillance were enrolled in a 3+3 study with three eRapa dosing cohorts (cohort 1, 0.5 mg/week; cohort 2, 1 mg/week; and cohort 3, 0.5 mg/day). Patients were treated for 3 months and followed for an additional 3 months to assess safety, pharmacokinetics, quality of life (QoL), immune response, and disease progression. Fourteen patients (cohort 1, n = 3; cohort 2, n = 3; and cohort 3, n = 8) were enrolled. In cohort 3, one dose-limiting toxicity (DLT; neutropenia) and two non-DLT grade 1-2 adverse events (AE) occurred that resulted in patient withdrawal. All AEs in cohorts 1 and 2 were grade 1. Peak serum rapamycin concentration was 7.1 ng/mL after a 1 mg dose. Stable trough levels (~2 ng/mL) developed after 48-72 hours. Daily dosing mildly worsened QoL, although QoL recovered after treatment cessation in all categories, except fatigue. Weekly dosing increased naïve T-cell populations. Daily dosing increased central memory cell populations and exhaustion markers. No disease progression was observed. In conclusion, treatment with eRapa was safe and well-tolerated. Daily dosing produced higher frequencies of lower grade toxicities and transient worsening of QoL, while weekly dosing impacted immune response. Future studies will verify clinical benefit and long-term tolerability. Prevention Relevance: There is an unmet medical need for a well-tolerated treatment capable of delaying progression of newly diagnosed low-grade prostate cancer. This treatment would potentially obviate the need for future surgical intervention and improve the perception of active surveillance as a more acceptable option among this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-561
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

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