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DHEA in Treating Women Undergoing Surgery for Stage I, Stage II, or Stage III Breast Cancer

This study has been terminated.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Identifier:
First received: September 3, 2009
Last updated: February 15, 2017
Last verified: February 2017

RATIONALE: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may slow the growth of tumor cells and be an effective treatment for women with breast cancer.

PURPOSE: This phase I trial is studying how well DHEA works in treating women undergoing surgery for stage I, stage II, or stage III breast cancer.

Condition Intervention Phase
Breast Cancer
Drug: DHEA
Procedure: Surgical resection
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: No masking
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Pilot Study of Androgen Receptor as a Target for the Treatment of ER-/PR-/AR + Breast Cancer

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Tumor Proliferation (Percentage of Ki-67 Positive Cells) [ Time Frame: Baseline, prior to DHEA treatment, within 48 hours prior to surgery and after 14 days of DHEA treatment. ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Effect of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on Androgen Receptor Expression [ Time Frame: Baseline, prior to DHEA treatment, within 48 hours prior to surgery and after 14 days of DHEA treatment. ]
  • Effect of DHEA on Changes in Serum Estrogen and Androgen Hormone Levels (e.g., Estrone, Estradiol, Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, DHEA, and DHEA-sulfate) [ Time Frame: Baseline, prior to DHEA treatment, within 48 hours prior to surgery and after 14 days of DHEA treatment. ]
  • Toxicity [ Time Frame: Within 48 hours prior to surgery and after 14 days of DHEA treatment. ]

Enrollment: 1
Study Start Date: February 2010
Study Completion Date: August 2010
Primary Completion Date: March 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: DHEA, surgical resection
Day-14 (approx. 2 wks prior to surgery): begin a 2 week course of DHEA; Day-7 (approx. 1 wk after starting treatment): answer question about pill diary; Day 0 (approx. 2 wks after starting treatment, within 48 hours prior to surgery;
Drug: DHEA
DHEA administration will begin approxiately 14 days prior to surgery.
Other Name: therapeutic dehydroepiandrosterone
Procedure: Surgical resection
Surgical procedure of the invasive breast cancer

Detailed Description:



  • To identify the effect of the adrenal steroid, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), on tumor proliferation in women with estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative, HER2/neu-negative, and androgen receptor (AR)-positive stage I-III adenocarcinoma of the breast.


  • To study the effect of DHEA on expression of AR in these patients.
  • To assess the effect of DHEA on changes in serum estrogen and androgen hormone levels (e.g., estrone, estradiol, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, DHEA, and DHEA-sulfate) in these patients.
  • To assess the toxicity of DHEA in these patients.
  • To follow the clinical course of these patients.

OUTLINE: Patients receive oral dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) twice daily on days -14 to 0. Patients then undergo surgery on day 1.

Tissue samples are collected at baseline and at the time of surgery for biomarker analysis (androgen receptor, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, HER2/neu, Ki-67, and p53) by IHC. Blood samples are collected at baseline and after completion of treatment with DHEA for analysis of serum hormone (e.g., estrone, estradiol, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, DHEA, and DHEA-sulfate) and cytokine levels.

After completion of study therapy, patients are followed up at 1 week and then every 6 months for 3 years.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 120 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically or cytologically confirmed invasive adenocarcinoma of the breast

    • Stage I (T1c), II, or III disease (AJCC staging system)

      • Lesion ≥ 1 cm on breast imaging studies (mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI)
  • HER2/neu-negative tumor
  • Planning to receive dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) prior to surgery
  • Disease amenable to surgery with curative intent

    • Scheduled to undergo surgery immediately after completion of DHEA
  • No locally advanced or metastatic disease not amenable to surgery
  • Hormone receptor status:

    • Estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-negative tumor
    • Androgen receptor-positive tumor


  • Menopausal status not specified
  • ECOG performance status (PS) 0-2 OR Karnofsky PS 60-100%
  • ANC ≥ 1,000/mm^3
  • Platelet count ≥ 75,000/mm^3
  • AST and ALT ≤ 2.5 times upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Alkaline phosphatase ≤ 2.5 times ULN
  • Bilirubin ≤ 2 times ULN
  • Hemoglobin > 9 g/dL
  • Creatinine normal OR creatinine clearance ≥ 60 mL/min
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception during and for ≥ 1 week after completion of study therapy
  • No history of allergic reactions attributed to compounds of similar chemical or biological composition to DHEA or anastrozole
  • No concurrent uncontrolled illness, including but not limited to, any of the following:

    • Ongoing or active infection
    • Symptomatic congestive heart failure
    • Unstable angina pectoris
    • Cardiac arrhythmia
    • Psychiatric illness or social situation that would limit compliance with study requirements


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • More than 5 years since prior surgery, radiotherapy, biological therapy, hormone therapy, and/or chemotherapy for invasive breast cancer
  • No other concurrent antineoplastic or antitumor agents
  • No other concurrent investigational agents
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00972023

United States, Michigan
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Detroit, Michigan, United States, 48201-1379
Sponsors and Collaborators
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Zeina Nahleh, MD Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
  More Information

Responsible Party: Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute Identifier: NCT00972023     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000653162
P30CA022453 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: September 3, 2009
Results First Received: April 23, 2013
Last Updated: February 15, 2017

Keywords provided by Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute:
triple-negative breast cancer
stage I breast cancer
stage II breast cancer
stage IIIA breast cancer
stage IIIB breast cancer
stage IIIC breast cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases
Adjuvants, Immunologic
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on May 22, 2017