BACKGROUND Slow-flow vascular malformations frequently harbor activating mutations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR cascade. Phase II trials pinpointed sirolimus effectiveness as a drug therapy. Efficacy and safety of sirolimus thus need to be evaluated in large prospective phase III trials.METHODS The Vascular Anomaly-Sirolimus-Europe (VASE) trial, initiated in 2016, is a large multicentric prospective phase III trial (EudraCT 2015-001703-32), which evaluates efficacy and safety of sirolimus for 2 years in pediatric and adult patients with symptomatic slow-flow vascular malformations. In this interim analysis, we studied all patients enrolled up to October 2021 who received sirolimus for 12 or more months or who prematurely stopped the treatment.RESULTS Thirty-one pediatric and 101 adult patients were included in this analysis; 107 completed 12 or more months of sirolimus, including 61 who were treated for the whole 2-year period. Sirolimus resulted in a clinical improvement in 85% of patients. The efficacy appeared within the first month for the majority of them. Grade 3–4 adverse events were observed in 24 (18%) patients; all resolved after treatment interruption/arrest. Sirolimus increased feasibility of surgery or sclerotherapy in 20 (15%) patients initially deemed unsuitable for intervention. Among the 61 patients who completed the 2-year treatment, 33 (54%) reported a recurrence of symptoms after a median follow-up of 13 months after sirolimus arrest. While there was no difference in efficacy, clinical improvement was faster but subsided more rapidly in PIK3CA-mutated (n = 24) compared with TIE2-mutated (n = 19) patients.CONCLUSION Sirolimus has a high efficacy and good tolerance in treatment of slow-flow vascular malformations in children and adults.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02638389 and EudraCT 2015-001703-32.FUNDING The Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS grants T.0247.19, P.C005.22, T.0146.16, and P.C013.20), the Fund Generet managed by the King Baudouin Foundation (grant 2018-J1810250-211305), the Walloon Region through the FRFS-WELBIO strategic research programme (WELBIO-CR-2019C-06), the MSCA-ITN network V.A. Cure no. 814316, the Leducq Foundation Networks of Excellence Program grant “ReVAMP” (LFCR grant 21CVD03), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 874708 (Theralymph), the Swiss National Science Foundation under the Sinergia project no. CRSII5_193694, and a Pierre M. fellowship.


Emmanuel Seront, An Van Damme, Catherine Legrand, Annouk Bisdorff-Bresson, Philippe Orcel, Thomas Funck-Brentano, Marie-Antoinette Sevestre, Anne Dompmartin, Isabelle Quere, Pascal Brouillard, Nicole Revencu, Martina De Bortoli, Frank Hammer, Philippe Clapuyt, Dana Dumitriu, Miikka Vikkula, Laurence M. Boon


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