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Testing the Addition of Ipatasertib to Usual Chemotherapy and Radiation for Stage III-IVB Head and Neck Cancer

Trial Status: Active

This phase I / Ib trial tests the safety and best dose of ipatasertib in combination with the usual treatment approach using chemotherapy together with radiation therapy (“chemo-radiation”) in patients with stage III-IVB head and neck cancer. Ipatasertib is in a class of medications called protein kinase B (AKT) inhibitors. It may stop the growth of tumor cells and may kill them. Cisplatin which is a chemotherapy used in this trial is in a class of medications known as platinum-containing compounds. It works by killing, stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells. Radiation therapy uses high energy to kill tumor cells and shrink tumors. Giving ipatasertib in combination with chemo-radiation may be better than chemo-radiation alone in treating patients with advanced head and neck cancer.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients must have pathologically confirmed HNSCC (including tumors of the oropharynx, hypopharynx, larynx, oral cavity, nasal cavity, maxillary and other paranasal sinuses, and unknown primary of the head and neck), with measurable disease as per RECIST 1.1
  • Oropharyngeal and unknown primary squamous cell cancers must test negative for human papilloma virus (HPV), for example by p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC), in situ hybridization (ISH), or polymerase chain reaction (PCR), regardless of American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)/TNM stage. HPV testing is not required for other HNSCC primary tumor sites
  • Clinical stage III-IVB (locally advanced but non-metastatic) according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)/TNM Staging System, 8th Ed.
  • Must be candidate for concurrent, definitive cisplatin and radiation therapy as judged by the treating physician
  • Able to swallow tablets at the time of enrollment
  • Age >= 18 years. Because no dosing or adverse event data are currently available on the use of ipatasertib in combination with chemoradiation in patients < 18 years of age, children are excluded from this study
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0-1
  • Life expectancy of greater than 3 months
  • Absolute neutrophil count >= 1500/mcL
  • Hemoglobin >= 9 g/dL
  • Platelets >= 100,000/mcL
  • Serum albumin >= 3 g/dL
  • Total bilirubin =< 1.5 x institutional upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase [SGOT])/alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase [SGPT]) =< 2.5 x institutional ULN / 2 x institutional ULN
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) =< 2.0 x institutional ULN
  • Partial thromboplastin time (PTT) (or activated [a]PTT) and international normalized ratio (INR) =< 1.5 institutional ULN (except for patients receiving anticoagulation therapy)
  • Creatinine clearance (CLcr) > 30 mL/min
  • Fasting glucose =< 150 mg/dL (8.3 mmol/L) and hemoglobin A1C =< 7.5% (58 mmol/mol)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients are eligible if on effective anti-retroviral therapy with undetectable viral load within 6 months
  • Patients with past hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection or resolved HBV infection (defined as having a negative hepatitis B virus surface antigen [HBsAg] test and a positive hepatitis B core antibody [HBcAb] test, accompanied by a negative HBV deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA] test) are eligible. Patients with chronic HBV infection are eligible if the HBV viral load is undetectable on suppressive therapy, if indicated. Patients undergoing current treatment with anti-viral therapy for HBV are ineligible
  • Patients with a history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are eligible only if polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is negative for HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA). Patients with HCV infection who are currently on treatment are eligible if they have an undetectable HCV viral load
  • Patients with a prior or concurrent malignancy whose natural history or treatment does not have the potential to interfere with the safety or efficacy assessment of the investigational regimen are eligible for this trial
  • The effects of ipatasertib on the developing human fetus are unknown. For women of childbearing potential: agreement to remain abstinent (refrain from heterosexual intercourse) or use contraceptive methods with a failure rate of < 1% per year during the treatment period and for at least 28 days after the last dose of ipatasertib and agreement to refrain from donating eggs during this same period. For men: agreement to remain abstinent (refrain from heterosexual intercourse) or use contraceptive measures, and agreement to refrain from donating sperm during the treatment period and for 28 days after the last dose of ipatasertib
  • Ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent document
  • For the expansion cohort only, patients must agree to undergo mandatory on-treatment biopsies, and have tumors amenable to on-treatment biopsies. This is not applicable to the dose escalation cohort where no on-treatment biopsies are obtained

Exclusion Criteria

  • Primary tumor of nasopharynx, salivary, thyroid or parathyroid glands, or skin
  • Distant metastases from the current HNSCC
  • Prior treatment (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation, or definitive surgery) for the current locally advanced HNSCC is not permitted. Biopsies, including those performed under anesthesia, are not considered surgery. Patients who underwent prior definitive surgery alone for an early stage (T1-2N0) HNSCC which has now recurred with stage III-IVB disease at least 3 months after the initial surgery are eligible
  • For patients with a prior history of another malignancy, no prior chemotherapy or radiation may have been administered within 6 weeks prior to study entry. Among patients who received prior radiation to the head and neck or adjacent anatomical site for another malignancy, there may be no overlap with current area to be irradiated
  • Current use of any other investigational agents
  • History of allergic reactions attributed to compounds of similar chemical or biologic composition to ipatasertib or other agents used in study
  • Treatment with strong inhibitors or inducers of CYP3A4 or P-glycoprotein within 2 weeks or 5 drug-elimination half-lives, whichever is longer, prior to initiation of study drug. Because the lists of these agents are constantly changing, it is important to regularly consult a frequently-updated medical reference. As part of the enrollment/informed consent procedures, the patient will be counseled on the risk of interactions with other agents, and what to do if new medications need to be prescribed or if the patient is considering a new over-the-counter medicine or herbal product
  • Patients with uncontrolled intercurrent illness, including active infection
  • Pregnant women are excluded from this study because ipatasertib is an oral AKT inhibitor with the potential for teratogenic or abortifacient effects. Because there is an unknown but potential risk for adverse events in nursing infants secondary to treatment of the mother with ipatasertib, breastfeeding should be discontinued if the mother is treated with ipatasertib. These potential risks may also apply to other agents used in this study
  • Patients with Type I or Type II diabetes mellitus requiring insulin at study entry. Patients with non-insulin dependent Type II diabetes mellitus are eligible, as are patients who are on a stable dose of oral diabetes medication >= 4 weeks prior to initiation of study treatment. Patients must meet the laboratory eligibility criteria for fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c
  • History of or active inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) or active bowel inflammation (e.g., diverticulitis)
  • History of malabsorption syndrome or other condition that would interfere with enteral absorption or results in the inability or unwillingness to swallow pills
  • Lung disease: pneumonitis, interstitial lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, aspergillosis, active tuberculosis, or history of opportunistic infections (pneumocystis pneumonia or cytomegalovirus pneumonia)
  • Known clinically significant history of liver disease consistent with Child Pugh Class B or C, including active viral or other hepatitis (e.g., positive for hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] or hepatitis C virus [HCV] antibody at screening), or cirrhosis.
  • Grade >= 2 uncontrolled or untreated hypercholesterolemia (cholesterol > 300 mg/dL or > 7.75 mmol/L) or hypertriglyceridemia (triglycerides > 300 mg/dL or > 3.42 mmol/L)

See trial information on for a list of participating sites.


I. To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended Phase 2 dose (RP2D) of ipatasertib in combination with definitive chemoradiation in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) based on dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs).


I. To assess acute and late toxicities, based on Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) version 5.0.

II. To assess long-term swallowing function, based on gastric tube dependency at 6 and 12 months that is different from baseline.

III. To determine duration and completion rate of prescribed radiation and chemotherapy.

IV. To determine pharmacokinetic profile of ipatasertib in combination with cisplatin and radiation therapy, based on peak and trough blood levels in patients administered ipatasertib orally.

V. To determine pharmacodynamic effects of ipatasertib at the MTD, based on pAKT, pS6 and pPRAS40 as markers of AKT pathway inhibition, and gamma-H2AX as a marker of radiosensitization.

VI. To observe and record anti-tumor activity (objective response rate) by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria, locoregional control, relapse-free survival, and overall survival) of the combination of ipatasertib, cisplatin, and radiation therapy in patients with HNSCC.

VII. To correlate efficacy outcomes with tumor genotype, based on whole exome sequencing of pre-treatment biopsy specimens.

OUTLINE: This is a phase I, dose-escalation study of ipatasertib in combination with fixed-dose cisplatin and radiation therapy followed by a dose-expansion study.


Patients receive ipatasertib orally (PO) once daily (QD) on days 1-28 of each cycle. Patients also receive cisplatin intravenously (IV) on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of cycle 1 and days 1, 8, and 15 of cycle 2. Patients undergo radiation therapy (RT) daily (Monday-Friday) during weeks 1-7. Treatment repeats every 28 days for a total of 2 cycles in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.


Patients receive ipatasertib PO QD on days 2-28 or 3-28 of cycle 1 and 1-28 of subsequent cycles. Patients also receive cisplatin IV on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of cycle 1 and days 1, 8, and 15 of cycle 2. Patients undergo RT daily (Monday-Friday) during weeks 1-7. Treatment repeats every 28 days for a total of 2 cycles in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed up for 30 days, and then for up to 2 years.

Trial Phase Phase I

Trial Type Treatment

Lead Organization
University Health Network Princess Margaret Cancer Center LAO

Principal Investigator
Malcolm David Mattes

  • Primary ID 10492
  • Secondary IDs NCI-2021-13901
  • ID NCT05172245