Purpose No effective salvage treatments are available for patients with advanced/recurrent thymoma (T) or thymic carcinoma (TC) who have progressed after platinum-based chemotherapy. This study evaluated the activity of everolimus in patients with advanced/recurrent T or TC previously treated with cisplatin-containing chemotherapy. Patients and Methods This was a single-arm, single-stage, open-label, multicenter, phase II trial. Patients received oral everolimus 10 mg/d until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or patient refusal. A Fleming phase II trial was designed. The null hypothesis of a true disease control rate (DCR) of 40% was tested against a one-sided alternative of a true DCR of 60% (α = β = 0.10): If disease control were achieved in ≥ 21 of the first 41 evaluable patients, everolimus could be recommended for further evaluation. Progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety were also evaluated. Results From 2011 to 2013, 51 patients were enrolled (T, n = 32; TC, n = 19). Complete remission was observed in one patient with TC, partial response in five patients (T, n = 3; TC, n = 2), and stable disease in 38 patients (T, n = 27; TC, n= 11), with a DCR of 88% (T,: 93.8%; TC, 77.8%). With a median follow up of 25.7 months, median progression-free survival was 10.1 months (T,: 16.6 months; TC, 5.6 months), and median overall survival was 25.7 months (T, not reached; TC, 14.7 months). Fourteen patients had a serious drug-related adverse event; of these patients, nine permanently discontinued treatment. Three patients died of pneumonitis while in the study. Immunohistochemical positivity for p4E-BP1 or insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor was statistically significantly related to a shorter survival. Conclusion Everolimus may induce durable disease control in a high percentage of patients with T or TC, albeit with a potential high risk of fatal pneumonitis.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02049047.