Activity and Safety of Palbociclib in Patients with Advanced Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors Refractory to Imatinib and Sunitinib: A Biomarker-driven Phase II Study

Clin Cancer Res. 2019 Aug 1;25(15):4611-4615. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-3127. Epub 2019 Apr 12.


Purpose: CDKN2A loss is frequent in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) and associated with aggressive outcome. Palbociclib is a CDK4 inhibitor with preclinical antitumor efficacy in tumors with P16/CDKN2A loss.

Patients and methods: This is a multicenter single-arm phase II clinical trial assessing safety and efficacy of palbociclib in patients with advanced GIST bearing CDKN2A gene loss. Adults with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic, refractory to at least imatinib and sunitinib, measurable and documented progressive disease (PD) as per RECIST 1.1, and CDKN2A deletion centrally assessed were eligible. Patients received palbociclib 125 mg orally daily on a 21 days on/7 days off dosing schedule, until PD or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was 4-month non-PD rate according to RECIST 1.1.

Results: As of May 2017, 71 patients had been included in the study, and 29 patients (40.3%) met the molecular eligibility requirement. Twenty-five patients (86.2%) had grade 1-2 adverse events (AEs) and 12 patients (41.4%) grade 3-4 AEs possibly related to the drug. The planned interim statistical analysis performed after central histologic and radiological review showed that 19 (86.4%) out of the first 22 evaluable patients had PD at 4 months. CDKN2A status had no impact either on overall survival or outcome on previous standard lines of treatment. Translational analysis suggested upregulation of CCNE1 or downregulation of CDKN1A/P21 or LRRC3B as potential mechanisms of resistance.

Conclusions: Palbociclib has no significant clinical activity as a single agent in P16/CDKN2A -deleted GIST refractory to imatinib and sunitinib.

Trial registration: NCT01907607.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / pathology
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Imatinib Mesylate / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Safety
  • Piperazines / administration & dosage
  • Pyridines / administration & dosage
  • Sunitinib / administration & dosage
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CDKN2A protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • Piperazines
  • Pyridines
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • palbociclib
  • Sunitinib

Associated data