Limited clinical activity of palbociclib and ribociclib monotherapy in advanced cancers with cyclin D-CDK4/6 pathway alterations in the Dutch DRUP and Australian MoST trials

Int J Cancer. 2023 Oct 1;153(7):1413-1422. doi: 10.1002/ijc.34649. Epub 2023 Jul 10.


The Dutch Drug Rediscovery Protocol (DRUP) and the Australian Cancer Molecular Screening and Therapeutic (MoST) Program are similar nonrandomized, multidrug, pan-cancer trial platforms that aim to identify signals of clinical activity of molecularly matched targeted therapies or immunotherapies outside their approved indications. Here, we report results for advanced or metastatic cancer patients with tumors harboring cyclin D-CDK4/6 pathway alterations treated with CDK4/6 inhibitors palbociclib or ribociclib. We included adult patients that had therapy-refractory solid malignancies with the following alterations: amplifications of CDK4, CDK6, CCND1, CCND2 or CCND3, or complete loss of CDKN2A or SMARCA4. Within MoST, all patients were treated with palbociclib, whereas in DRUP, palbociclib and ribociclib were assigned to different cohorts (defined by tumor type and alteration). The primary endpoint for this combined analysis was clinical benefit, defined as confirmed objective response or stable disease ≥16 weeks. We treated 139 patients with a broad variety of tumor types; 116 with palbociclib and 23 with ribociclib. In 112 evaluable patients, the objective response rate was 0% and clinical benefit rate at 16 weeks was 15%. Median progression-free survival was 4 months (95% CI: 3-5 months), and median overall survival 5 months (95% CI: 4-6 months). In conclusion, only limited clinical activity of palbociclib and ribociclib monotherapy in patients with pretreated cancers harboring cyclin D-CDK4/6 pathway alterations was observed. Our findings indicate that monotherapy use of palbociclib or ribociclib is not recommended and that merging data of two similar precision oncology trials is feasible.

Trial registration: NCT02925234.

Keywords: CDK4/6 inhibitors; drug rediscovery; monotherapy; precision oncology; targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminopyridines / therapeutic use
  • Australia
  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Cyclin D
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 6
  • Cyclins
  • DNA Helicases
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Precision Medicine
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology


  • palbociclib
  • ribociclib
  • Cyclins
  • Aminopyridines
  • Cyclin D
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 6
  • SMARCA4 protein, human
  • DNA Helicases
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • CDK4 protein, human

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12616000931471