Is sirolimus effective for vascular malformations in children?
This observational-phase randomized clinical trial of 59 children aged 6 to 18 years found no evidence on magnetic resonance imaging of the efficacy of sirolimus for reducing the volume of slow-flow vascular malformations. Overall, sirolimus was efficient for painful symptoms, especially among patients with combined malformations, and for bleeding, oozing, and quality of life associated with the malformations.
This study allows for clarifying the goals of the patient and family when starting sirolimus therapy: reducing pain, bleeding, oozing, and volume only for those with pure lymphatic malformations.
Sirolimus is increasingly being used to treat various vascular anomalies, although evidence of its efficacy is lacking.
To assess the efficacy and safety of sirolimus for children with slow-flow vascular malformations to better delineate the indications for treatment.
Design, Setting and Participants
This multicenter, open-label, observational-phase randomized clinical trial included 59 children aged 6 to 18 years with a slow-flow vascular malformation who were recruited between September 28, 2015, and March 22, 2018, in 11 French tertiary hospital centers. Statistical analysis was performed on an intent-to-treat basis from December 4, 2019, to November 10, 2020.
Patients underwent an observational period, then switched to an interventional period when they received oral sirolimus (target serum levels, 4-12 ng/mL). The switch time was randomized from month 4 to month 8, and the whole study period lasted 12 months for each patient.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The primary outcome was change in the volume of vascular malformations detected on magnetic resonance imaging scan (with centralized interpretation) per unit of time (ie, between the interventional period and the observational period). Secondary outcomes included subjective end points: pain, bleeding, oozing, quality of life, and safety.
Among the participants (35 girls [59.3%]; mean [SD] age, 11.6 [3.8] years), 22 (37.3%) had a pure venous malformation, 18 (30.5%) had a cystic lymphatic malformation, and 19 (32.2%) had a combined malformation, including syndromic forms. Variations in the volume of vascular malformations detected on magnetic resonance imaging scans associated with the duration period were not overall significantly different between the interventional period and the observational period (all vascular malformations: mean [SD] difference, –0.001 [0.007]; venous malformations: mean [SD] difference, 0.001 [0.004]; combined malformations: mean [SD] difference, 0.001 [0.009]). However, a significant decrease in volume was observed for children with pure lymphatic malformations (mean [SD] difference, –0.005 [0.005]). Overall, sirolimus had positive effects on pain, especially for combined malformations, and on bleeding, oozing, self-assessed efficacy, and quality of life. During sirolimus treatment, 56 patients experienced 231 adverse events (5 serious adverse events, none life-threatening). The most frequent adverse event was an oral ulcer (29 patients [49.2%]).
Conclusions and Relevance
This observational-phase randomized clinical trial allows for clarifying the goals of patients and families when starting sirolimus therapy for children older than 6 years. Pure lymphatic malformations seem to be the best indication for sirolimus therapy because evidence of decreasing lymphatic malformation volume per unit of time, oozing, and bleeding and increasing quality of life was found. In combined malformations, sirolimus significantly reduced pain, oozing, and bleeding. Benefits seemed lower for pure venous malformations than for the 2 other subgroups, also based on symptoms.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02509468; clinicaltrialsregister.eu Identifier: 2015-001096-43
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Maruani A, Tavernier E, Boccara O, et al. Sirolimus (Rapamycin) for Slow-Flow Malformations in Children: The Observational-Phase Randomized Clinical PERFORMUS Trial. JAMA Dermatol. Published online September 15, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.3459
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