Phase 2 study of buparlisib (BKM120), a pan-class I PI3K inhibitor, in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer

Ana C. Garrido-Castro, Cristina Saura, Romualdo Barroso-Sousa, Hao Guo, Eva Ciruelos, Begoña Bermejo, Joaquin Gavilá, Violeta Serra, Aleix Prat, Laia Paré, Pamela Céliz, Patricia Villagrasa, Yisheng Li, Jennifer Savoie, Zhan Xu, Carlos L. Arteaga, Ian E. Krop, David B. Solit, Gordon B. Mills, Lewis C. CantleyEric P. Winer, Nancy U. Lin, Jordi Rodon

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66 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment options for triple-negative breast cancer remain limited. Activation of the PI3K pathway via loss of PTEN and/or INPP4B is common. Buparlisib is an orally bioavailable, pan-class I PI3K inhibitor. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of buparlisib in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. Methods: This was a single-arm phase 2 study enrolling patients with triple-negative metastatic breast cancer. Patients were treated with buparlisib at a starting dose of 100 mg daily. The primary endpoint was clinical benefit, defined as confirmed complete response (CR), partial response (PR), or stable disease (SD) for ≥ 4 months, per RECIST 1.1. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicity. A subset of patients underwent pre- and on-treatment tumor tissue biopsies for correlative studies. Results: Fifty patients were enrolled. Median number of cycles was 2 (range 1–10). The clinical benefit rate was 12% (6 patients, all SD ≥ 4 months). Median PFS was 1.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6–2.3). Median OS was 11.2 months (95% CI 6.2–25). The most frequent adverse events were fatigue (58% all grades, 8% grade 3), nausea (34% all grades, none grade 3), hyperglycemia (34% all grades, 4% grade 3), and anorexia (30% all grades, 2% grade 3). Eighteen percent of patients experienced depression (12% grade 1, 6% grade 2) and anxiety (10% grade 1, 8% grade 2). Alterations in PIK3CA/AKT1/PTEN were present in 6/27 patients with available targeted DNA sequencing (MSK-IMPACT), 3 of whom achieved SD as best overall response though none with clinical benefit ≥ 4 months. Of five patients with paired baseline and on-treatment biopsies, reverse phase protein arrays (RPPA) analysis demonstrated reduction of S6 phosphorylation in 2 of 3 patients who achieved SD, and in none of the patients with progressive disease. Conclusions: Buparlisib was associated with prolonged SD in a very small subset of patients with triple-negative breast cancer; however, no confirmed objective responses were observed. Downmodulation of key nodes in the PI3K pathway was observed in patients who achieved SD. PI3K pathway inhibition alone may be insufficient as a therapeutic strategy for triple-negative breast cancer. Trial registration: NCT01790932. Registered on 13 February 2013; NCT01629615. Registered on 27 June 2012.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120
JournalBreast Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • BKM120
  • Buparlisib
  • PI3K pathway
  • Phase 1
  • Triple-negative breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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