PURPOSEBuparlisib, an oral reversible inhibitor of all class I phosphoinositide-3-kinases, has shown antitumoral activity against estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer cell lines and xenografts, alone and with endocrine therapy. This phase Ib study evaluated buparlisib plus letrozole's safety, tolerability, and preliminary activity in patients with metastatic ER-positive breast cancer refractory to endocrine therapy.PATIENTS AND METHODSPatients received letrozole and buparlisib in two different administration schedules. Outcomes were assessed by standard solid-tumor phase I methods. [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography ([(18)F]FDG-PET/CT) scans were done at baseline and 2 weeks after treatment initiation. Tumor blocks were collected for phosphoinositide-3-kinase pathway mutation analysis.RESULTSFifty-one patients were allocated sequentially to continuous or intermittent (five on/two off days) buparlisib administration on an every-4-week schedule. Buparlisib's maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) was 100 mg/d. Common drug-related adverse events included ≤ grade 2 hyperglycemia, nausea, fatigue, transaminitis, and mood disorders. The clinical benefit rate (lack of progression ≥ 6 months) among all patients treated at the MTD was 31%, including two objective responses in the continuous dose arm. Of seven patients remaining on treatment ≥ 12 months, three had tumors with PIK3CA hot-spot mutation. Patients exhibiting metabolic disease progression by [(18)F]FDG-PET/CT scan at 2 weeks progressed rapidly on therapy.CONCLUSIONThe letrozole and buparlisib combination was safe, with reversible toxicities regardless of schedule administration. Clinical activity was observed independent of PIK3CA mutation status. No metabolic response by [(18)F]FDG-PET/CT scan at 2 weeks was associated with rapid disease progression. Phase III trials of buparlisib and endocrine therapy in patients with ER-positive breast cancer are ongoing.