The mTORC1 inhibitor everolimus has antitumor activity in vitro and produces tumor responses in patients with relapsed T-cell lymphoma

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Journal Article

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Everolimus is an oral agent that targets the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. This study investigated mTOR pathway activation in T-cell lymphoma (TCL) cell lines and assessed antitumor activity in patients with relapsed/refractory TCL in a phase 2 trial. The mTOR pathway was activated in all 6 TCL cell lines tested and everolimus strongly inhibited malignant T-cell proliferation with minimal cytotoxic effects. Everolimus completely inhibited phosphorylation of ribosomal S6, a raptor/mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) target, without a compensatory activation of the rictor/mTORC2 target Akt (S475). In the clinical trial, 16 patients with relapsed TCL were enrolled and received everolimus 10 mg by mouth daily. Seven patients (44%) had cutaneous (all mycosis fungoides); 4 (25%) had peripheral T cell not otherwise specified; 2 (13%) had anaplastic large cell; and 1 each had extranodal natural killer/T cell, angioimmunoblastic, and precursor T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma types. The overall response rate was 44% (7/16; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 20% to 70%). The median progression-free survival was 4.1 months (95% CI, 1.5-6.5) and the median overall survival was 10.2 months (95% CI, 2.6-44.3). The median duration of response for the 7 responders was 8.5 months (95% CI, 1.0 to not reached). These studies indicate that everolimus has antitumor activity and provide proof-of-concept that targeting the mTORC1 pathway in TCL is clinically relevant. This trial was registered at as #NCT00436618.