A study of axitinib, a VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in children and adolescents with recurrent or refractory solid tumors: A Children's Oncology Group phase 1 and pilot consortium trial (ADVL1315)

Cancer. 2018 Dec 1;124(23):4548-4555. doi: 10.1002/cncr.31725. Epub 2018 Nov 5.


Background: Axitinib is an oral small molecule that inhibits receptor tyrosine kinases vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 1 to 3. A phase 1 and pharmacokinetic (PK) trial evaluating axitinib was conducted in children with refractory solid tumors.

Methods: Axitinib was administered orally twice daily in continuous 28-day cycles. Dose levels (2.4 mg/m2 /dose and 3.2 mg/m2 /dose) were evaluated using a rolling 6 design. Serial PKs (cycle 1, days 1 and 8) and exploratory biomarkers were analyzed.

Results: A total of 19 patients were enrolled; 1 patient was ineligible due to inadequate time having elapsed from prior therapy. The median age of the patients was 13.5 years (range, 5-17 years). Two of 5 patients who were treated at dose level 2 experienced dose-limiting toxicities (palmar-plantar erythryodysesthesia syndrome in 1 patient and intratumoral hemorrhage in 1 patient). Frequent (>20%) grade 1 to 2 toxicities during cycle 1 included anemia, anorexia, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, and hypertension. Nonhematological toxicities of grade ≥3 in subsequent cycles included hypertension and elevated serum lipase. PK analysis demonstrated variability in axitinib exposure, the median time to peak plasma concentration was 2 hours, and the half-life ranged from 0.7 to 5.2 hours. Exposure and dose were not found to be significantly associated with hypertension. Five patients achieved stable disease for ≤6 cycles as their best response, including patients with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (1 patient), Ewing sarcoma (1 patient), hepatocellular carcinoma (1 patient), and osteosarcoma (2 patients). One patient with alveolar soft part sarcoma achieved a partial response. Kidney injury biomarkers were found to be elevated at baseline; no trends were identified.

Conclusions: In children with refractory solid tumors, the maximum tolerated and recommended dose of axitinib appears to be 2.4 mg/m2 /dose, which provides PK exposures similar to those of adults.

Keywords: Inlyta; axitinib; pediatric solid tumor; phase 1; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Axitinib / administration & dosage*
  • Axitinib / adverse effects
  • Axitinib / pharmacokinetics
  • Child
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Axitinib