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Phase II study of mTORC1 inhibition by everolimus in neurofibromatosis type 2 patients with growing vestibular schwannomas.


Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is a genetic disorder with bilateral vestibular schwannomas (VS) as the most frequent manifestation. Merlin, the NF2 tumor suppressor, was identified as a negative regulator of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1. Pre-clinical data in mice showed that mTORC1 inhibition delayed growth of NF2-schwannomas. We conducted a prospective single-institution open-label phase II study to evaluate the effects of everolimus in ten NF2 patients with progressive VS. Drug activity was monitored every 3 months. Everolimus was administered orally for 12 months and, if the decrease in tumor volume was >20 % from baseline, treatment was continued for 12 additional months. Other patients stopped when completed 12 months of everolimus but were allowed to resume treatment when VS volume was >20 % during 1 year follow-up. Nine patients were evaluable. Safety was evaluated using CTCAE 3.0 criteria. After 12 months of everolimus, no reduction in volume ≥20 % was observed. Four patients had progressive disease, and five patients had stable disease with a median annual growth rate decreasing from 67 %/year before treatment to 0.5 %/year during treatment. In these patients, tumor growth resumed within 3-6 months after treatment discontinuation. Everolimus was then reintroduced and VS decreased by a median 6.8 % at 24 months. Time to tumor progression increased threefold from 4.2 months before treatment to > 12 months. Hearing was stable under treatment. The safety of everolimus was manageable. Although the primary endpoint was not reached, further studies are required to confirm the potential for stabilization of everolimus.

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