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Vaccine Therapy in Treating Patients With Stage IV Head and Neck Cancer

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Identifier:
First received: July 11, 2001
Last updated: April 29, 2015
Last verified: August 2002

RATIONALE: Vaccines may make the body build an immune response to kill tumor cells.

PURPOSE: Phase I trial to study the effectiveness of vaccine therapy in treating patients who have stage IV head and neck cancer.

Condition Intervention Phase
Head and Neck Cancer Metastatic Cancer Biological: recombinant fowlpox-TRICOM vaccine Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Phase I/Pilot Study of Intralesional Immunotherapy With A Recombinant Avipox Virus Engineered To Express A Triad Of Co-Stimulatory Molecules In Patients With Advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Head And Neck

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):

Study Start Date: June 2001
Detailed Description:


  • Determine the maximum tolerated dose and dose-limiting toxic effects of recombinant fowlpox-TRICOM vaccine in patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity or oropharynx or nodal or dermal metastases.
  • Determine the safety profile of this regimen in these patients.
  • Determine the clinical activity of this regimen, in terms of inflammation at injection site(s) and disease regression or stabilization, in these patients.

OUTLINE: This is a dose-escalation study.

Patients receive recombinant fowlpox-TRICOM vaccine (rF-TRI) intralesionally once on weeks 0, 3, and 8. Beginning on week 16, patients may receive additional rF-TRI once every 8 weeks in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Cohorts of 3-6 patients receive escalating doses of rF-TRI until the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) is determined. The MTD is defined as the dose preceding that at which at least 2 of 3 or 2 of 6 patients experience dose-limiting toxicity.

Patients are followed at 1 year.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 20 patients will be accrued for this study.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity or oropharynx or nodal or dermal metastases for which current available treatment is not likely to offer a survival advantage or result in significant palliation

    • Unresectable locoregional recurrence after maximum radiotherapy OR
    • Local disease with unresectable distant metastases involving:

      • Base of skull
      • Prevertebral fascia
      • Deep neck muscles
      • Carotid artery (requiring resection)
      • Nasopharynx and/or pterygoid muscles
  • Ineligible to receive radiotherapy to head and neck during study
  • Primary intraoral lesions must be measurable and accessible to intralesional injections
  • No metastatic brain lesions, cerebral metastasis, or leptomeningeal disease



  • 18 and over

Performance status:

  • Zubrod 0-2

Life expectancy:

  • At least 2 months


  • Absolute neutrophil count greater than 1,000/mm^3
  • Platelet count greater than 100,000/mm^3
  • Hemoglobin greater than 8 g/dL


  • Bilirubin less than 1.5 mg/dL
  • AST/ALT less than 4 times upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • PT/PTT less than 1.5 times ULN


  • Creatinine less than 2.0 mg/dL OR
  • Creatinine clearance greater than 60 mL/min


  • No evidence of congestive heart failure
  • No serious cardiac dysrhythmia
  • No evidence of recent prior myocardial infarction on EKG
  • No clinical coronary artery disease


  • No history of seizures or concurrent seizure disorder
  • No evidence of encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, or other structural brain lesion(s) by clinical or radiological evaluation


  • No risk of immune system compromise
  • HIV negative
  • No hypersensitivity to eggs
  • No significant history of allergies (e.g., anaphylaxis or angioedema)


  • No active or chronic infection
  • No other serious concurrent medical illness
  • No other malignancy unless previously treated with curative intent and no evidence of persistent or recurrent disease
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception


Biologic therapy:

  • At least 4 weeks since prior immunotherapy and recovered


  • No more than 2 prior chemotherapy regimens
  • At least 4 weeks since prior chemotherapy and recovered

Endocrine therapy:

  • At least 4 weeks since prior systemic corticosteroids
  • No concurrent systemic corticosteroids


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • At least 4 weeks since prior radiotherapy and recovered
  • No prior radiotherapy to more than 50% of nodal groups


  • More than 4 weeks since prior surgery for primary or metastatic lesions and recovered
  • No prior splenectomy
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00021424

United States, Maryland
Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892-1182
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Study Chair: Susan Rudy, MSN National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
  More Information Identifier: NCT00021424     History of Changes
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00006410
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000068782
Study First Received: July 11, 2001
Last Updated: April 29, 2015

Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the lip and oral cavity
recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the lip and oral cavity
stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx
recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx
skin metastases

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Neoplasm Metastasis
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Neoplasms, Squamous Cell
Neoplasms by Site
Neoplastic Processes
Pathologic Processes
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on September 21, 2017