Src tyrosine kinases are overexpressed in pancreatic cancers, and the oral Src inhibitor saracatinib has shown antitumor activity in preclinical models of pancreas cancer. We performed a CTEP-sponsored Phase II clinical trial of saracatinib in previously treated pancreas cancer patients, with a primary endpoint of 6-month survival. A Simon MinMax two-stage phase II design was used. Saracatinib (175 mg/day) was administered orally continuously in 28-day cycles. In the unselected portion of the study, 18 patients were evaluable. Only two (11%) patients survived for at least 6 months, and three 6-month survivors were required to move to second stage of study as originally designed. The study was amended as a biomarker-driven trial (leucine rich repeat containing protein 19 [LRRC19] > insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 [IGFBP2] "top scoring pairs" polymerase chain reaction [PCR] assay, and PIK3CA mutant) based on preclinical data in a human pancreas tumor explant model. In the biomarker study, archival tumor tissue or fresh tumor biopsies were tested. Biomarker-positive patients were eligible for the study. Only one patient was PIK3CA mutant in a 3' untranslated region (UTR) portion of the gene. This patient was enrolled in the study and failed to meet the 6-month survival endpoint. As the frequency of biomarker-positive patients was very low (<3%), the study was closed. Although we were unable to conclude whether enriching for a subset of second/third line pancreatic cancer patients treated with a Src inhibitor based on a biomarker would improve 6-month survival, we demonstrate that testing pancreatic tumor samples for a biomarker-driven, multicenter study in metastatic pancreas cancer is feasible.
Keywords: Biomarker; Src; clinical trial; pancreas cancer.