The PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway is aberrantly activated in various pediatric tumors. We conducted a phase I study of the Akt inhibitor perifosine in patients with recurrent/refractory pediatric CNS and solid tumors. This was a standard 3+3 open-label dose-escalation study to assess pharmacokinetics, describe toxicities, and identify the MTD for single-agent perifosine. Five dose levels were investigated, ranging from 25 to 125 mg/m2/day for 28 days per cycle. Twenty-three patients (median age 10 years, range 4-18 years) with CNS tumors (DIPG [n = 3], high-grade glioma [n = 5], medulloblastoma [n = 2], ependymoma [n = 3]), neuroblastoma (n = 8), Wilms tumor (n = 1), and Ewing sarcoma (n = 1) were treated. Only one DLT occurred (grade 4 hyperuricemia at dose level 4). The most common grade 3 or 4 toxicity at least possibly related to perifosine was neutropenia (8.7%), with the remaining grade 3 or 4 toxicities (fatigue, hyperglycemia, fever, hyperuricemia, and catheter-related infection) occurring in one patient each. Pharmacokinetics was dose-saturable at doses above 50 mg/m2/day with significant inter-patient variability, consistent with findings reported in adult studies. One patient with DIPG (dose level 5) and 4 of 5 patients with high-grade glioma (dose levels 2 and 3) experienced stable disease for two months. Five subjects with neuroblastoma (dose levels 1 through 4) achieved stable disease which was prolonged (>/=11 months) in three. No objective responses were noted. In conclusion, the use of perifosine was safe and feasible in patients with recurrent/refractory pediatric CNS and solid tumors. An MTD was not defined by the 5 dose levels investigated. Our RP2D is 50 mg/m2/day.