Use of Cetuximab for Unresectable or Metastatic Esophageal and Gastric Cancer

This study has been completed.
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Massachusetts General Hospital
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jennifer Chan, MD, MPH, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Identifier:
First received: August 15, 2005
Last updated: May 12, 2015
Last verified: May 2015

Purpose: There remains a great need for novel therapeutic agents and treatment strategies for advanced esophagogastric cancer. Preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated increased EGFR expression in a significant proportion of both esophageal and gastric carcinomas. Inactivation of EGFR through use of a monoclonal antibody in preclinical models has resulted in inhibition of tumor growth. Agents designed to block the EGFR pathway have demonstrated disease control among previously treated patients with metastatic esophageal and gastric cancer. The proposed mechanism of action for cetuximab is its ability to effectively disrupt EGFR-mediated signal transduction pathways that ultimately leads to halting cell cycle progression, induces apoptosis, and also inhibits processes important for tumor growth, such as cell invasion and angiogenesis.

Condition Intervention Phase
Esophageal Cancer
Gastric Cancer
Neoplasm Metastasis
Drug: Cetuximab
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase II Trial of Cetuximab in Unresectable or Metastatic Esophageal and Gastric Carcinoma

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Overall Response Rate [ Time Frame: Disease was evaluated radiologically at baseline and every 2 cycles on treatment; Treatment continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Treatment duration was a median of 6 weeks (range 1-23 weeks). ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Overall response (OR) rate was defined as achieving partial response (PR) or complete response (CR) based on RECIST 1.0 criteria on treatment. Per RECIST 1.0 for target lesions, CR is complete disappearance of all target lesions and PR is at least a 30% decrease in the sum of longest diameter (LD) of target lesions, taking as reference baseline sum LD. To be assigned a status of CR or PR, changes in tumor measurements must be confirmed by repeat assessments performed no fewer than 4 weeks after the response criteria are first met. PR or better overall response assumes at a minimum incomplete response/stable disease (SD) for the evaluation of non-target lesions and absence of new lesions.

Enrollment: 43
Study Start Date: July 2005
Study Completion Date: September 2010
Primary Completion Date: September 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Patients received cetuximab at an initial dose of 400 mg/m2 administered IV over 120 min, followed by weekly infusions at 250 mg/m2 administered IV over 60 min. Once cycle was 4 weeks of therapy. Patients received treatment until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
Drug: Cetuximab
Other Name: erbitux

Detailed Description:


Primary - To assess the response rate of single-agent cetuximab in patients with advanced esophageal or gastric cancer who have failed 1-2 prior chemotherapy regimens given in the metastatic setting.


  • To evaluate the duration of response, progression-free survival and overall survival.
  • To assess the safety of cetuximab.


- To assess whether levels of EGFR expression and/or EGFR mutation status correlates with response and toxicity of cetuximab.


This study used a two-stage design to evaluate efficacy of cetuximab based on overall response (OR) defined as complete response (CR) or partial response (PR). The null and alternative OR rate were 5% and 15%. If one or more patients enrolled in the stage one cohort (n=20 patients) achieved PR or better than accrual would proceed to stage two (n=16 patients). There was 36% probability of stopping the trial at stage one if the true OR rate was 5%. The probability that the regimen would be considered promising if the true OR rate was 5% was 10% and 80% if the true OR rate was 15%.


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

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Histologically confirmed, unresectable or metastatic stage IV esophageal or gastric adenocarcinoma. Tumors with squamous cell differentiation, including those with a mixture of squamous and adenomatous differentiation, are excluded.
  • Measurable disease by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria, greater than or equal to 1 cm (longest diameter) by spiral computed tomography (CT) scan or greater than or equal to 2 cm by other radiographic technique. Disease in an irradiated field as only site of measurable disease is acceptable if there has been a clear progression of the lesion.
  • Patients must have at least one paraffin block or twenty unstained slides available for analysis of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) status.
  • Treatment with 1-2 prior chemotherapy regimens given in the metastatic setting for unresectable or metastatic esophageal or gastric carcinoma.
  • ECOG performance status 0-2.
  • Life expectancy greater or equal to 12 weeks.
  • Age 18 years or older.
  • Ability to sign an informed consent document.
  • Neutrophils greater than or equal to 1,000/mm3.
  • Platelets greater than or equal to 75,000/mm3.
  • Serum bilirubin less than or equal to 2.0 mg/dl.
  • Serum creatinine less than or equal to 1.5 mg/dl.
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) less than or equal to 2.5 x upper institutional normal limit.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnant or lactating women. Women of childbearing potential must have a negative serum or urine pregnancy test within 14 days of initiation of therapy. Men and women of reproductive potential may not participate unless they have agreed to use an effective contraceptive method while in this study.
  • Subjects should have no other active malignancy other than non-melanoma skin cancer or in-situ cervical carcinoma. A resected cancer (other than in-situ carcinoma) must have demonstrated no evidence of recurrence for at least 3 years.
  • Subjects should not have a significant history of cardiac disease, i.e., uncontrolled hypertension; unstable angina; congestive heart failure; myocardial infarction less than 6 months prior to registration; or serious uncontrolled cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Subjects must not have received prior cetuximab or other therapy that specifically and directly targets the EGFR pathway. Prior therapy with bevacizumab is permissible.
  • Subjects must not have experienced prior severe infusion reaction to a monoclonal antibody.
  • Subjects must not have received any chemotherapy regimen or radiation therapy within 28 days prior to study entry.
  • Patients must have completed any major surgery 4 weeks or any minor surgery 2 weeks prior to the first infusion of cetuximab. Patients must have fully recovered from the procedure.
  • No concurrent use of chemotherapy, radiation, or other investigational agents is allowed while participating in this study.
  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: NCT00130689

United States, Massachusetts
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
North Shore Medical Center Cancer Center
Peabody, Massachusetts, United States
Sponsors and Collaborators
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Massachusetts General Hospital
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Jennifer A. Chan, MD Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  More Information

Responsible Party: Jennifer Chan, MD, MPH, Overall PI, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Identifier: NCT00130689     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 05-113
Study First Received: August 15, 2005
Results First Received: May 28, 2014
Last Updated: May 12, 2015
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:
Esophageal Cancer
Gastric Cancer
Metastatic Esophageal Cancer
Metastatic Gastric Cancer
Metastatic Esophageal and Gastric Cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Esophageal Neoplasms
Neoplasm Metastasis
Stomach Neoplasms
Digestive System Diseases
Digestive System Neoplasms
Esophageal Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Neoplastic Processes
Pathologic Processes
Stomach Diseases
Antineoplastic Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on October 09, 2015