Dasatinib treatment is well tolerated in patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), a subtype of malignant salivary gland tumors, and resulted in tumor stabilization in 50% of patients, a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Annals of Oncology has shown.1

Because 90% of ACC cases express cKIT and dasatinib is a potent and selective inhibitor of cKIT, researchers sought to conduct a phase 2 study to evaluate the antitumor activity of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor in ACC and non-ACC malignant salivary gland tumors.

For the study, researchers enrolled 40 patients with progressive, recurrent/metastatic ACC and 14 with non-ACC. All participants received dasatinib 70 mg orally twice daily.

Continue Reading

Efficacy results showed that 1 patient with ACC achieved a partial response and 20 had stable disease. Twelve had progressive disease. Researchers found that median progression-free survival and median overall survival was 4.8 months and 14.5 months, respectively. No patients with non-ACC achieved an objective response, 7 had stable disease, and 4 had progressive disease.

RELATED: Head and Neck Cancer Patients Have Higher Suicide Risk

In regard to safety, the most frequent grade 2 or higher adverse events were fatigue, nausea, lymphopenia, dyspnea, increased alanine aminotransferase, anorexia, vomiting, increased alkaline phosphatase, diarrhea, neutropenia, and non-cardiac chest pain. No patients experienced a grade 4 adverse event.

The findings suggest that dasatinib is not active in non-ACC malignant salivary gland tumors, but may have some activity in patients with ACC.


  1. Wong SJ, Karrison T, Hayes DN, et al. Phase II trial of dasatinib for recurrent or metastatic c-KIT expressing adenoid cystic carcinoma and for non-adenoid cystic malignant salivary tumors [published online ahead of print on November 23, 2015]. Ann Oncol. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdv537.