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

BACKGROUND: 

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.

METHODS: 

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.

RESULTS: 

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.

CONCLUSIONS: 

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.