Trametinib for orbital plexiform neurofibromas in young children with neurofibromatosis type 1

Helen Toledano*, Gad Dotan, Rivka Friedland, Rony Cohen, Iftach Yassur, Hagit Toledano-Alhadef, Shlomi Constantini, Mika Shapira Rootman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Plexiform neurofibromas (PNF) in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) are usually diagnosed in childhood and can grow rapidly during this period. In 10% of patients, PNF involve the orbital-periorbital area and may cause visual problems including glaucoma, visual loss from amblyopia (deprivational, strabismic, or refractive), optic nerve compression, or keratopathy. Ptosis, proptosis, and facial disfigurement lead to social problems and decreased self-esteem. Complete surgical removal involves significant risks and mutilation, and regrowth after debulking is not uncommon. Inhibitors of the RAS/MAPK pathway have recently been investigated for their activity in PNF. We administered the oral MEK inhibitor trametinib to five young children with NF1 and PNF of the orbital area, with visual compromise and progressive tumor growth; and followed them clinically and by volumetric MRI. Methods: Treatment was initiated at a mean age of 26.8 months (SD ± 12.8) and continued for a median 28 months (range 16–51). Doses were 0.025 mg/kg/day for children aged > 6 years and 0.032 mg/kg/day for those aged < 6 years. Results: Volumetric MRI measurements showed a reduction of 2.9–33% at 1 year after treatment initiation, with maximal reductions of 44% and 49% in two patients, at 44 and 36 months, respectively. No change in visual function was recorded during treatment. One child reported decreased orbital pain after 2 weeks; and another, with involvement of the masseters, had increased ability to chew food. Toxicities were mostly to skin and nails, grades 1–2. Conclusions: Trametinib can decrease tumor size in some young children with orbital PNF and may prevent progressive disfigurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1909-1915
Number of pages7
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Neurofibromatosis type 1
  • Orbitofacial
  • Plexiform neurofibroma
  • Trametinib


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