Purpose: Itraconazole has been repurposed as an anticancer therapeutic agent for multiple malignancies. In preclinical models, itraconazole has antiangiogenic properties and inhibits Hedgehog pathway activity. We performed a window-of-opportunity trial to determine the biologic effects of itraconazole in human patients. Experimental Design: Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had planned for surgical resection were administered with itraconazole 300 mg orally twice daily for 10-14 days. Patients underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and plasma collection for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analyses. Tissues from pretreatment biopsy, surgical resection, and skin biopsies were analyzed for itraconazole and hydroxyitraconazole concentration, and vascular and Hedgehog pathway biomarkers. Results: Thirteen patients were enrolled in this study. Itraconazole was well-tolerated. Steady-state plasma concentrations of itraconazole and hydroxyitraconazole demonstrated a 6-fold difference across patients. Tumor itraconazole concentrations trended with and exceeded those of plasma. Greater itraconazole levels were significantly and meaningfully associated with reduction in tumor volume (Spearman correlation, -0.71; P = 0.05) and tumor perfusion (Ktrans; Spearman correlation, -0.71; P = 0.01), decrease in the proangiogenic cytokines IL1b (Spearman correlation, -0.73; P = 0.01) and GM-CSF (Spearman correlation, -1.00; P < 0.001), and reduction in tumor microvessel density (Spearman correlation, -0.69; P = 0.03). Itraconazole-treated tumors also demonstrated distinct metabolic profiles. Itraconazole treatment did not alter transcription of GLI1 and PTCH1 mRNA. Patient size, renal function, and hepatic function did not predict itraconazole concentrations. Conclusions: Itraconazole demonstrates concentration-dependent early antivascular, metabolic, and antitumor effects in patients with NSCLC. As the number of fixed dose cancer therapies increases, attention to interpatient pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics differences may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6017-6027
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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