Introduction: SRC is an oncogene with an essential role in the invasiveness and metastasis of solid tumors including small cell lung cancer. Dasatinib is a potent inhibitor of SRC as well as other tyrosine kinases. The primary objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of second-line dasatinib in patients with chemosensitive (relapse or progression > or =90 days after completing first-line therapy) small cell lung cancer.
Methods: Patients with measurable disease; performance status 0 to 1; no more than one prior platinum-based chemotherapy regimen; and adequate hematologic, hepatic, and renal function were eligible. Dasatinib was administered orally at 70 mg twice daily continuously (1 cycle = 21 days) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Response was determined after every two cycles. Patients were followed until disease progression or death. The study was prospectively designed to simultaneously discriminate between complete plus partial response rates of 5% versus 20% and progression-free survival (PFS) rates at 6 weeks of 50% versus 70.7% in 53 evaluable patients with at least 92% power. The study was to be terminated early and declared negative if 1 or less objective response and 14 or fewer instances of PFS > or =6 weeks were observed among the initial 27 patients; however, patient accrual continued while the initial 27 patients were evaluated.
Results: Between April 2007 and December 2008, 45 patients were enrolled, but one patient never received any protocol therapy and one patient was ineligible: male/female, 17/26; white/black/unknown, 40/2/1; median age, 64 years (range, 35-84 years); and performance status 0/1, 12/31. No objective response was recorded among the 43 eligible and treated patients. Among the initial 27 patients, only 13 instances of PFS > or =6 weeks were observed. With a median follow-up time of 7.1 months, median estimated overall survival and PFS times for the 43 eligible and treated patients were 17.0 and 5.9 weeks, respectively. Common reasons for removal of patients from protocol treatment were progressive disease (65%) and adverse events (26%). Toxicity was generally mild to moderate: grade 3 events of >5% frequency included fatigue and pleural and pericardial effusions; and no grade 4 or 5 events were encountered.
Conclusions: Dasatinib did not reach our specified efficacy criteria in this clinical setting, and the study was terminated.