Purpose: To establish a recommended sunitinib dosing schedule in Japanese patients with imatinib-resistant/intolerant gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and to evaluate the efficacy, safety/tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of sunitinib using this schedule.
Patients and methods: In the phase I part of this open-label phase I/II trial, Japanese GIST patients received 25, 50, or 75 mg/day of sunitinib on Schedule 4/2 (4 weeks on treatment; 2 weeks off treatment) following imatinib failure. In phase II, patients received the recommended (maximum tolerated) dose on this schedule; the primary endpoint was clinical benefit rate (CBR; percent objective responses or stable disease [SD] ≥22 weeks). Additional efficacy, safety, pharmacokinetic, and biomarker analyses were performed.
Results: In phase I (12 patients), the recommended dose was determined to be 50 mg/day. Sunitinib pharmacokinetics were similar to those observed in studies with Western patients. In the phase II part (36 patients), the CBR was 39% (95% CI: 23–57%; 11% partial responses, 28% SD ≥22 weeks). The most common treatment-related non-hematologic adverse events (AEs) were hand–foot syndrome (86%) and fatigue (67%). A trend towards a correlation between decreases from baseline in plasma soluble KIT levels and improved CB was found.
Conclusions: The pharmacokinetics observed and clinical outcomes achieved in Japanese GIST patients on sunitinib (50 mg/day, Schedule 4/2) after imatinib failure appeared similar to those of Western patients in previous sunitinib trials. Although some serious AEs were observed, AEs were generally manageable using dose interruption/modification and/or standard medical treatments.