Rapamycin pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic relationships in osteosarcoma: A comparative oncology study in dogs

Melissa C. Paoloni, Christina Mazcko, Elizabeth Fox, Timothy Fan, Susan Lana, William Kisseberth, David M. Vail, Kaylee Nuckolls, Tanasa Osborne, Samuel Yalkowsy, Daniel Gustafson, Yunkai Yu, Liang Cao, Chand Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Background: Signaling through the mTOR pathway contributes to growth, progression and chemoresistance of several cancers. Accordingly, inhibitors have been developed as potentially valuable therapeutics. Their optimal development requires consideration of dose, regimen, biomarkers and a rationale for their use in combination with other agents. Using the infrastructure of the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium many of these complex questions were asked within a relevant population of dogs with osteosarcoma to inform the development of mTOR inhibitors for future use in pediatric osteosarcoma patients. Methodology/Principal Findings: This prospective dose escalation study of a parenteral formulation of rapamycin sought to define a safe, pharmacokinetically relevant, and pharmacodynamically active dose of rapamycin in dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma. Dogs entered into dose cohorts consisting of 3 dogs/cohort. Dogs underwent a pre-treatment tumor biopsy and collection of baseline PBMC. Dogs received a single intramuscular dose of rapamycin and underwent 48- hour whole blood pharmacokinetic sampling. Additionally, daily intramuscular doses of rapamycin were administered for 7 days with blood rapamycin trough levels collected on Day 8, 9 and 15. At Day 8 post-treatment collection of tumor and PBMC were obtained. No maximally tolerated dose of rapamycin was attained through escalation to the maximal planned dose of 0.08 mg/kg (2.5 mg/30kg dog). Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed a dose-dependent exposure. In all cohorts modulation of the mTOR pathway in tumor and PBMC (pS6RP/S6RP) was demonstrated. No change in pAKT/AKT was seen in tumor samples following rapamycin therapy. Conclusions/Significance: Rapamycin may be safely administered to dogs and can yield therapeutic exposures. Modulation pS6RP/S6RP in tumor tissue and PBMCs was not dependent on dose. Results from this study confirm that the dog may be included in the translational development of rapamycin and potentially other mTOR inhibitors. Ongoing studies of rapamycin in dogs will define optimal schedules for their use in cancer and evaluate the role of rapamycin use in the setting of minimal residual disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere11013
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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