Phase II trial with axitinib in recurrent and/or metastatic salivary gland cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract


Patients with prognosis recurrent/metastatic (R/M) salivary gland carcinomas (SGCs) are poor. Activity of axitinib was demonstrated in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC). We tested axitinib in a larger cohort of R/M SGCs including non-ACC.


Axitinib was administered at 10 mg daily (dose escalation allowed) until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Null hypothesis would be rejected if more than 3 of 26 responses were observed.


Twenty-six patients (50% were male; 6 ACC, 20 non-ACC) were treated. Response rate was 8% (2 partial responses), 13 stable disease (>6 months in 7 patients) and 11 disease progression. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 5.5 and 26.2 months, respectively. All patients had at least one adverse event: stomatitis (69%), fatigue (58%) and hypertension (54%) were the most frequent.


This trial did not meet its primary endpoint hence axitinib should not be considered for further investigations in SGCs. Safety profile was in line with the scientific literature.