BACKGROUND:There is preclinical synergism between taxanes and MK-2206. We aim to determine the maximum tolerated dose, safety, and activity of combining MK-2206 and paclitaxel in metastatic cancer. METHODS:Patients received weekly doses of paclitaxel at 80mg/m2 on day 1, followed by MK-2206 orally on day 2 escalated at 90mg, 135mg, and 200mg. Treatment continued until progression, excessive toxicity, or patient request. Blood and tissue were collected for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics markers. A cycle consisted of three weeks of therapy. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as unacceptable toxicity during the first cycle. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS:Twenty-two patients were treated, nine in dose escalation and 13 in dose expansion. Median age was 55 years. Median number of cycles was four. Dose escalation was completed with no DLT. CTCAE Grade 3 or higher adverse events were fatigue (n = 2), rash (n = 2), hyperglycemia (n = 1), and neutropenia (n = 7). Four patients in the expansion phase required MK-2206 dose reduction. Phase II recommended dose was established as paclitaxel 80mg/m2 weekly on day 1, and MK-2206 135mg weekly on day 2. Paclitaxel systemic exposure was similar in the presence or absence of MK-2206. Plasma MK-2206 concentrations were similar to data from previous phase I monotherapy. There was a statistically significant decrease in expression of pAKT S473 (P = .01) and pAKT T308 (P = .002) after therapy. PI3K/AKT/mTOR downregulation in tumor tissues and circulating markers did not correlate with tumor response or clinical benefit. There were five objective responses, and nine patients had stable disease. CONCLUSION:MK-2206 was well tolerated with paclitaxel. Preliminary antitumor activity was documented.