Phase I trial of hedgehog pathway inhibitor vismodegib (GDC-0449) in patients with refractory, locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors

Patricia M. LoRusso, Charles M. Rudin, Josina C. Reddy, Raoul Tibes, Glen J. Weiss, Mitesh J. Borad, Christine L. Hann, Julie R. Brahmer, Ilsung Chang, Walter C. Darbonne, Richard A. Graham, Kenn L. Zerivitz, Jennifer A. Low, Daniel D. Von Hoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

411 Scopus citations


Purpose: The hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway, a key regulator of cell growth and differentiation during development is implicated in pathogenesis of certain cancers. Vismodegib (GDC-0449) is a smallmolecule inhibitor of smoothened, a key component of Hh signaling. This phase I trial assessed GDC-0449 treatment in patients with solid tumors refractory to current therapies or for which no standard therapy existed. Experimental Design: Sixty-eight patients received GDC-0449 at 150 mg/d (n = 41), 270 mg/d (n = 23), or 540 mg/d (n = 4). Adverse events, tumor responses, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamic down-modulation of GLI1 expression in noninvolved skin were assessed. Results: Thirty-three of 68 patients had advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC), 8 had pancreatic cancer, 1 had medulloblastoma; 17 other types of cancer were also represented. GDC-0449 was generally welltolerated. Six patients (8.8%) experienced 7 grade 4 events (hyponatremia, fatigue, pyelonephritis, presyncope, resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and paranoia with hyperglycemia), and 27.9% of patients experienced a grade 3 event [most commonly hyponatremia (10.3%), abdominal pain (7.4%), and fatigue (5.9%)]. No maximum tolerated dose was reached. The recommended phase II dose was 150 mg/d, based on achievement of maximal plasma concentration and pharmacodynamic response at this dose. Tumor responses were observed in 20 patients (19 with BCC and 1 unconfirmed response in medulloblastoma), 14 patients had stable disease as best response, and 28 had progressive disease. Evidence of GLI1 down-modulation was observed in noninvolved skin. Conclusions: GDC-0449 has an acceptable safety profile and encouraging anti-tumor activity in advanced BCC and medulloblastoma. Further study in these and other cancer types is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2502-2511
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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