BIBW 2992 Plus Simvastatin vs. BIBW 2992 in Previously Treated Patients With Advanced Non-adenocarcinomatous NSCLC

2014-07-23 21:08:33 | BioPortfolio


The investigators hypothesized that simvastatin may enhance sensitivity to BIBW 2992 in non-adenocarcinoma that is relatively resistant to TKIs. Based on these data, the investigators will research the effectiveness comparing BIBW2992, an irreversible EGFR-TKI, plus simvastatin with BIBW2992 alone in the setting of a randomized phase II study in previously treated patients with advanced non-adenocarcinomatous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


One of the main reasons of resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) is that there are alternative mechanisms for persistent activating EGFR downstream signaling, including both RAS/Erk and PI3K/Akt kinase pathways. Therefore, simultaneous inhibition of both pathways would be necessary to reduce tumor cell survival more effectively. One of the candidate combinations is concurrent use of EGFR-TKIs and statins, which are irreversible inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase and have been used to treat hypercholesterolemia through blocking the mevalonate biosynthesis pathway. Beside the cholesterol lowering effect, statins have been shown to induce apoptosis in several tumor types. It affects the synthesis of other products of the mevalonate pathway such as isoprenoids, which are used as substrates for prenylation. Attachment of isoprenoids to RAS proteins facilitates their anchoring to the cell membrane where they carried out their roles. By interrupting the biosynthesis of mevalonate, statins inhibit activation of RAS and downstream signaling cascades, including the RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT, which play critical roles in regulation of cell survival and proliferation. Therefore, it seems to be a promising therapeutic approach overcoming tumor resistance to EGFR-TKIs, which is associated with RAS activation.

According to the recent clinical result of phase II trial, a randomized phase II study of gefitinib with or without simvastatin in previously treated patients with advanced NSCLC conducted by Han et al.37 gefitinib plus simvastatin combination produced higher response rates than gefitinib alone in patients with non-adenocarcinoma (5/13 [39%] v 1/13 [8%], P=0.06). This finding suggests that simvastatin may enhance sensitivity to gefitinib in non-adenocarcinoma that is relatively resistant to gefitinib. Moreover, by Mantha et al.35 demonstrated that the combination of gefitinib and lovastatin showed significant synergic cytotoxic effects in vitro in a total of 16 squamous cell carcinomas, NSCLC, and colon carcinoma cell lines. Of special interest, these cell lines did not possess the activating mutations of EGFR, which confer increased sensitivity to gefitinib. Nevertheless, combining lovastatin with gefitinib induced more significant inhibition of AKT activation than either agent alone. Additionally, lovastatin significantly enhanced the sensitivity to gefitinib treatment regardless PTEN loss in glioblastoma cell lines. These results suggest that statins can augment EGFR inhibition.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Non-small Cell Lung Cancer


BIBW 2992, simvastatin


Not yet recruiting


National Cancer Center, Korea

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:08:33-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Malignant neoplasm arising from the epithelium of the BRONCHI. It represents a large group of epithelial lung malignancies which can be divided into two clinical groups: SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER and NON-SMALL-CELL LUNG CARCINOMA.

A form of highly malignant lung cancer that is composed of small ovoid cells (SMALL CELL CARCINOMA).

A heterogeneous aggregate of at least three distinct histological types of lung cancer, including SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA; ADENOCARCINOMA; and LARGE CELL CARCINOMA. They are dealt with collectively because of their shared treatment strategy.

A pharmaceutical preparation of ezetimibe and simvastatin that is used in the treatment of HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA and HYPERLIPIDEMIAS.

A quinazoline derivative and ANTINEOPLASTIC AGENT that functions as a PROTEIN KINASE INHIBITOR for EGFR associated tyrosine kinase. It is used in the treatment of NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER.

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