Erlotinib and Gemcitabine in Treating Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Previously Treated With An Anthracycline and/or a Taxane

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Identifier:
First received: May 6, 2003
Last updated: November 5, 2011
Last verified: September 2004

RATIONALE: Drugs used in chemotherapy such as gemcitabine work in different ways to stop tumor cells from dividing so they stop growing or die. Erlotinib may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking the enzymes necessary for tumor cell growth. Combining gemcitabine with erlotinib may kill more tumor cells.

PURPOSE: Phase II trial to study the effectiveness of combining gemcitabine with erlotinib in treating patients who have metastatic breast cancer that has been previously treated with an anthracycline and/or a taxane.

Condition Intervention Phase
Breast Cancer
Drug: erlotinib hydrochloride
Drug: gemcitabine hydrochloride
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase II Study of OSI-774 (Tarceva) and Gemcitabine for Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer

Resource links provided by NLM:

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

Study Start Date: June 2003
Primary Completion Date: January 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:


  • Determine the anti-tumor activity of erlotinib and gemcitabine in patients with metastatic breast cancer previously treated with anthracycline and/or taxane.
  • Determine the adverse event profile of this regimen in these patients.
  • Determine whether epidermal growth factor receptor and HER-2 receptor intensity and serum concentrations have an impact on clinical response in patients treated with this regimen.
  • Determine the impact of genetic differences in proteins involved in drug response (transport, metabolism, and mechanism of action) on clinical response and adverse events associated with gemcitabine in these patients.

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study.

Patients receive gemcitabine IV on days 1 and 8 and oral erlotinib on days 1-21. Courses repeat every 21 days in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Patients achieving a complete response are followed every 6 weeks for up to 5 years or until disease progression (PD). Patients discontinuing study therapy for any other reason are followed every 3 months until PD and then every 6 months for up to 5 years.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 5-56 patients will be accrued for this study within 20 months.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically or cytologically confirmed breast cancer

    • Clinical evidence of metastatic disease
  • Candidate for first- or second-line chemotherapy for metastatic disease
  • Must have received prior anthracycline or taxane therapy (may have had both in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, or metastatic setting)
  • At least 1 measurable lesion at least 20 mm by CT scan or MRI OR at least 10 mm by spiral CT scan

    • The following are not considered measurable disease:

      • Small lesions less than 20 mm by CT scan or MRI
      • Bone lesions
      • Ascites
      • Pleural/pericardial effusion
      • Inflammatory breast disease
      • Lymphangitis cutis/pulmonis
      • Abdominal masses not confirmed and followed by imaging techniques
      • Cystic lesions
  • No active CNS metastases (treated CNS metastases stable for more than 8 weeks are allowed)
  • Hormone receptor status:

    • Not specified



  • 18 and over


  • Male or female

Menopausal status

  • Not specified

Performance status

  • ECOG 0-2

Life expectancy

  • At least 3 months


  • Absolute neutrophil count at least 1,500/mm^3
  • Platelet count at least 100,000/mm^3
  • Hemoglobin at least 8.5 g/dL


  • Bilirubin no greater than 1.5 times upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • AST no greater than 3 times ULN
  • Alkaline phosphatase no greater than 3 times ULN


  • Creatinine no greater than 1.5 times ULN


  • No symptomatic congestive heart failure
  • No unstable angina pectoris
  • No cardiac arrhythmia


  • No inability to take oral or nasogastric medication
  • No requirement for IV alimentation
  • No active peptic ulcer disease


  • No abnormalities of the cornea based on history (e.g., dry eye syndrome or Sjögren's syndrome)
  • No congenital abnormality (e.g., Fuch's dystrophy)
  • No abnormal slit-lamp examination using a vital dye (e.g., fluorescein or Bengal-Rose)
  • No abnormal corneal sensitivity test (Schirmer test or similar tear production test)


  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception

    • Sub-dermal implants and condoms are not considered acceptable forms of contraception
  • No other invasive non-breast malignancy within the past 5 years except adequately treated basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer
  • No ongoing or active infection
  • No psychiatric illness or social situation that would preclude study compliance
  • No other concurrent uncontrolled illness


Biologic therapy

  • At least 2 weeks since prior immunotherapy
  • No prior cetuximab


  • At least 2 weeks since prior chemotherapy and recovered
  • No more than 1 prior chemotherapy regimen for metastatic disease
  • No more than 2 prior chemotherapy regimens total, including adjuvant therapy

Endocrine therapy

  • Prior hormonal therapy allowed in metastatic and/or adjuvant setting


  • At least 2 weeks since prior radiotherapy
  • No prior radiotherapy to more than 25% of bone marrow
  • No prior strontium chloride Sr 89


  • More than 4 weeks since prior major surgery
  • No prior surgical procedures affecting absorption


  • No prior epidermal growth factor receptor-targeting therapies (e.g., gefitinib or EKB-569)
  • No concurrent combination antiretroviral therapy for HIV-positive patients
  • No other concurrent antitumor therapy
  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: NCT00059852

  Show 25 Study Locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
North Central Cancer Treatment Group
Study Chair: Edith A. Perez, MD Mayo Clinic
Investigator: Stephan Thome, MD Oncology Hematology West, PC - Omaha Bergan
  More Information

Additional Information:
Thome S, Hobday T, Hillman D, et al.: Translational correlates, including outcome for patients with ER-/PR-/HER2- (triple negative (TNeg)) disease from N0234, a phase II trial of gemcitabine and erlotinib for pts with previously treated metastatic breast cancer (MBC). [Abstract] J Clin Oncol 25 (Suppl 18): A-1071, 2007.
Graham DL, Hillman DW, Hobday TJ, et al.: N0234: phase II study of erlotinib (OSI-774) plus gemcitabine as first-or second-line therapy for metastatic breast cancer (MBC). [Abstract] J Clin Oncol 23 (Suppl 16): A-644, 39s, 2005.
Pockaj BA, Mukherjee P, Tinder TL, et al.: NCCTG N0338: effect of docetaxel and carboplatin on VEGF, PGE2, and immune cells in patients with stage II or III breast cancer. [Abstract] 31st Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 10-14, 2008, San Antonio, Texas. A-5110, 2008.
Reinholz MM, Kitzmann KK, Hillman D, et al.: Differential gene expression in circulating tumor cells between primary and metastatic breast cancer patients. [Abstract] Breast Cancer Res Treat 106 (1): A-5022, S213-4, 2007. Identifier: NCT00059852     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000298778, NCCTG-N0234
Study First Received: May 6, 2003
Last Updated: November 5, 2011
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
male breast cancer
recurrent breast cancer
stage IV breast cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Breast Diseases
Neoplasms by Site
Skin Diseases
Anti-Infective Agents
Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
Antineoplastic Agents
Antiviral Agents
Enzyme Inhibitors
Immunologic Factors
Immunosuppressive Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Radiation-Sensitizing Agents
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on June 30, 2015