Regression of subependymal giant cell astrocytomas with RAD001 (Everolimus) in tuberous sclerosis complex

Michal Yalon, L. Ben-Sira, S. Constantini, A. Toren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder caused by inactivating mutations in the TSC1 or TSC2 genes and characterized by slow-growing tumors in multiple organs. Of the affected individuals, 10% display subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs), which can lead to substantial neurological morbidity. The TSC1/TSC2 protein complex is a negative regulator of the mTOR pathway. Hence, mutations in these genes in preclinical models are associated with increased mTOR pathway activation and heightened sensitivity to mTOR inhibitors. We hereby report our experience with RAD001 (Everolimus) therapy, a novel mTOR inhibitor, in inducing a dramatic regression of SEGAs. Methods: A patient with TSC and SEGAs was treated with 10 mg/day oral RAD001. MRIs and neuro-ophtalmological exams were performed before and at regular intervals following the initiation of therapy. Results: The lesions exhibited significant regression in several tumor locations and stabilization in others, accompanied with an improvement of his visual status. Treatment was well tolerated for 11 months but was than discontinued due to hypertension and elevated CPK, without evidence for rhabdomyolysis. Yet, during 9 months following the interruption of therapy, SEGAs remained unchanged. Conclusions: Oral RAD001 demonstrated preliminary encouraging results as treatment of astrocytomas associated with TSC. These preliminary results were recently supported by the Novartis announcement of the phase II study of RAD001 for SEGAs, which was not published yet. According to their statement, 75% of the patients showed reduction of SEGAs' volume following treatment with RAD001. Based on these results, RAD001 may be an alternative to surgery in selected patients with TSC and SEGAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-181
Number of pages3
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • RAD001 (Everolimus)
  • Subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs)
  • Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)


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