This randomized, double-blind controlled trial of everolimus in individuals with germline phosphatase and tensin homolog mutations (PTEN) was designed to evaluate the safety of everolimus compared with placebo and to evaluate the efficacy of everolimus on neurocognition and behavior compared to placebo as measured by standardized neurocognitive and motor measures as well as behavioral questionnaires. The safety profile of everolimus is characterized by manageable adverse events that are generally reversible and non-cumulative. The primary safety endpoint of this study was drop-out rate due to side effects, comparing everolimus versus placebo. We also sought to determine the frequency of adverse events by type and severity. The main efficacy endpoint was a neurocognitive composite computed in two ways: 1) an average for working memory, processing speed, and fine motor subtests; and 2) the same average as above except weighted 2/3, and an additional average based on all other available neurocognitive testing measures assessing the additional domains of nonverbal ability, visuomotor skills, verbal learning, and receptive and expressive language, weighted 1/3. Secondary efficacy endpoints examined the effect of everolimus on overall global clinical improvement, autism symptoms, behavioral problems, and adaptive abilities as measured by validated, standardized instruments. We predicted that the rate of adverse events would be no more than 10% higher in the everolimus group compared to placebo, and overall severity of side effects would be minimal. We also expected that individuals receiving everolimus would show more improvement, relative to those taking placebo, on the composite neurocognitive index.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Everolimus; Neurobehavior and neurocognition; PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome; Randomized controlled trial.
© 2021 The Author(s).