Pharmacodynamic Effects of Ribavirin in Patients With Tonsil and/or Base of Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Human papillomavirus (HPV-16) is an important factor in the development of many tonsil and/or base of tongue squamous cell cancers. Although HPV-16 is not thought to cause cancer by itself, it appears to contribute to the development of tonsil and/or base of tongue cancer in many patients. It is likely that treatment for many patients with tonsil and/or base of tongue cancer could be improved if effective therapy to control HPV-16 is developed. The investigators in this study want to learn if ribavirin shows evidence of activity against HPV-16.
Ribavirin is a pill therapy that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of the standard treatment for Hepatitis C. Laboratory experiments suggest that ribavirin might also be useful in the treatment of head and neck cancers. However, ribavirin has not yet been tested against head and neck cancer in patients. The purpose of this study is to find out the effects of ribavirin on tonsil and base tongue squamous cell cancer in patients.
The main purpose of this study is to see if ribavirin changes the expression of certain proteins related to HPV infection in the tumor. The study will also find out if ribavirin changes how the tumor appears in a PET/CT scan (positron emission tomography/computed tomography scan).
Arms and Interventions
This will be a single institution non-randomized study for patients with tonsil and/or base of tongue squamous cell cancer. This is a pilot study to obtain pharmacodynamic data regarding the effects of ribavirin on tonsil squamous cell cancer.
The clinical intervention in this study is ribavirin therapy for approximately 14 days. Ribavirin 800 mg/day is administered in divided doses, 400 mg PO qAM and 400 mg PO qPM.
Primary Outcome Measures
- To explore if ribavirin therapy for 2 weeks decreases tumor expression [2 weeks]
of phosphorylated eIF4E among patients with tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma.
Secondary Outcome Measures
- to explore the pharmacodynamic effects of ribavirin [pre-treatment and post treatment]
on molecules that may be regulated directly or indirectly by eIF4E (eg, p16, p21, EGFR, p53).). Immunohistochemistry will be performed on Pathology samples (e.g. diagnostic biopsy), as well as on the post-treatment surgical pathology samples (e.g. definitive surgery),to describe the effects of ribavirin treatment on the expression of phosphorylated eIF4E.
- To explore if ribavirin reduces the expression of HPV-16 oncoproteins E6 and E7 [In pre- and post-treatment tumor samples]
Pathology samples (e.g. diagnostic biopsy), as well as on the post-treatment surgical pathology samples (e.g. definitive surgery)
Prior diagnostic surgical or core needle biopsy, with confirmation of tonsil and/or base of tongue squamous cell carcinoma that is positive for expression of p16 and phosphorylated eIF4E, as determined by the Department of Pathology at MSKCC. The biopsy may be either of the tonsil base of tongue and/or an involved neck node. 2 unstained slides and/or tissue block must be available from the initial diagnostic biopsy
Positive expression p16 and phosphorylated eIF4E is defined as >=30% of tumor cells with cytological and/or nuclear staining
Age ≥ 18 and ≤ 65 years of age
Karnofsky Performance Status ≥ 80
Adequate organ function, as follows:
Adequate bone marrow reserve: absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥ 1.5 X 109/L, platelets ≥ 160 X 109/L, hemoglobin ≥ 12 g/dL Hepatic: total bilirubin within 1.5 X upper limit of normal (ULN) ; alkaline phosphatase (AP), aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) ≤ 2.5 X ULN (Patients with Gilbert's syndrome as the cause of hyperbilirubinemia may be eligible if total bilirubin ≤ 2.5 X UNL) Renal: Serum creatinine ≤ 1.3 mg/dL. Patients with serum creatinine > 1.3 mg/dL may be eligible if creatinine clearance (CrCl) ≥ 55 mL/min based on the standard Cockroft and Gault formula.
Patients of childbearing potential must have a negative serum pregnancy test within 14 days of treatment. Patients must agree to use a reliable method of birth control during and for 6 months following the last dose of study drug.
Ability to swallow oral medication.
Non-surgical patients: If primary radiation +/- chemotherapy (concurrent or sequential) is planned, patients must agree to undergo research biopsy after completion of ribavirin treatment.
Prior chemotherapy or radiation for tonsillar or base of tongue squamous cell cancer
More than 10 pack-years of tobacco use
History of hemolytic anemia or thalassemia
Active infection or serious underlying medical condition that would impair the patient's ability to receive protocol treatment.
Current therapeutic anticoagulation with Coumadin (warfarin)
Current or prior treatment with ribavirin
Known active Hepatitis B or C
Any prior documented history of transient ischemic attack (TIA) or cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
New York Heart Association (NYHA) Grade II or greater congestive heart failure
Clinically significant peripheral vascular disease
History of unstable angina or myocardial infarction (MI) within the last 3 years
Contacts and Locations
|1||Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center||New York||New York||United States||10065|
Sponsors and Collaborators
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Principal Investigator: David Pfisher, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Study Documents (Full-Text)None provided.