Sorafenib and everolimus for patients with unresectable high-grade osteosarcoma progressing after standard treatment: a non-randomised phase 2 clinical trial

Lancet Oncol. 2015 Jan;16(1):98-107. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(14)71136-2. Epub 2014 Dec 11.


Background: Results of previous study showed promising but short-lived activity of sorafenib in the treatment of patients with unresectable advanced and metastatic osteosarcoma. This treatment failure has been attributed to the mTOR pathway and might therefore be overcome with the addition of mTOR inhibitors. We aimed to investigate the activity of sorafenib in combination with everolimus in patients with inoperable high-grade osteosarcoma progressing after standard treatment.

Methods: We did this non-randomised phase 2 trial in three Italian Sarcoma Group centres. We enrolled adults (≥18 years) with relapsed or unresectable osteosarcoma progressing after standard treatment (methotrexate, cisplatin, and doxorubicin, with or without ifosfamide). Patients received 800 mg sorafenib plus 5 mg everolimus once a day until disease progression or unacceptable toxic effects. The primary endpoint was 6 month progression-free survival (PFS). All analyses were intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with, number NCT01804374.

Findings: We enrolled 38 patients between June 16, 2011, and June 4, 2013. 17 (45%; 95% CI 28-61) of 38 patients were progression free at 6 months. Toxic effects led to dose reductions, or short interruptions, or both in 25 (66%) of 38 patients and permanent discontinuation for two (5%) patients. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were lymphopenia and hypophosphataemia each in six (16%) patients, hand and foot syndrome in five (13%), thrombocytopenia in four (11%), and fatigue, oral mucositis, diarrhoea, and anaemia each in two (5%). One patient (3%) had a grade 3 pneumothorax that required trans-thoracic drainage, and that recurred at the time of disease progression. This was reported as a serious adverse event related to the study drugs in both instances. No other serious adverse events were reported during the trial. There were no treatment-related deaths.

Interpretation: Although the combination of sorafenib and everolimus showed activity as a further-line treatment for patients with advanced or unresectable osteosarcoma, it did not attain the prespecified target of 6 month PFS of 50% or greater.

Funding: Italian Sarcoma Group.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Bone Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Everolimus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention to Treat Analysis
  • Italy
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Niacinamide / administration & dosage
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Osteosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Osteosarcoma / enzymology
  • Osteosarcoma / secondary
  • Phenylurea Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Sirolimus / administration & dosage
  • Sirolimus / analogs & derivatives
  • Sorafenib
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Niacinamide
  • Everolimus
  • Sorafenib
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Sirolimus

Associated data