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Vaccine and Chemotherapy for Previously Untreated Metastatic Breast Cancer

Information source: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Breast Neoplasms; Metastases, Neoplasm

Intervention: recombinant fowlpox-CEA(6D)/TRICOM vaccine (Biological); recombinant vaccinia-CEA(6D)/TRICOM vaccine (Biological); filgrastim (Biological); sargramostim (Biological); cyclophosphamide (Drug); doxorubicin hydrochloride (Drug); fludarabine phosphate (Drug); paclitaxel (Drug); Mesna (Drug)

Phase: Phase 1/Phase 2

Status: Terminated

Sponsored by: National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Claude Sportes, M.D., Principal Investigator, Affiliation: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health


This study will evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy and a combination of vaccines to treat metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast) in patients whose cancer cells have a protein called carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) on their surface. Patients who require surgery or radiation therapy, or both, will receive these treatments as well. Patients 18 years of age and older with previously untreated metastatic breast cancer may be eligible for this study. Newly diagnosed patients may not have received prior chemotherapy. Patients previously diagnosed with local disease may have received chemotherapy or radiation therapy at least 18 months before entering the current study. Patients may have received hormonal therapy for stage IV disease. Candidates are screened with a medical history and physical examination, blood and urine tests, x-rays, heart and lung tests, and a test to determine the presence of CEA on their tumor cells. Participants undergo the following procedures: 1. Central venous line: Under local or general anesthesia, an intravenous catheter (plastic tube) is inserted into a major vein in the chest. It is used to give chemotherapy and other medications and to withdraw blood samples. 2. Apheresis: Before beginning treatment and at various times before and after chemotherapy, patients undergo apheresis to collect white blood cells for later re-infusion at the time of immunizations and to evaluate the body's response to the vaccines. For this procedure, blood is collected through the central venous catheter and circulated through a machine that separates the white cells from the rest of the blood. The white cells are removed and frozen for later use. The rest of the blood is returned to the patient through the catheter. 3. First vaccine: Before starting chemotherapy, patients receive one subcutaneous (under the skin) injection of a vaccine called rV-CEA-Tricom, along with subcutaneous injections of granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (Sargramostim), a drug that stimulates the bone marrow to release white blood cells and white cell precursors into the bloodstream. 4. Chemotherapy:

- Taxol (paclitaxel)/Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide): Patients receive three to five

cycles of Taxol and Cytoxan. Taxol is given as a continuous 72-hour intravenous (intravenous (IV), through a vein) infusion and Cytoxan is given daily for 3 days, intravenously, over 1 hour. Cycles are 21 to 42 (usually 28) days. After each cycle, patients also receive growth colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) (a drug that helps boost white cells.

Clinical Details

Official title: A Multicenter Phase I-II Study of Tumor Vaccine Following Chemotherapy in Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Untreated With Chemo/Radiation in the Previous 18 Months: Vaccine-Induced Bias of T-Cell Repertoire Reconstitution After T-Cell Re-Infusion

Study design: Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome:

Event-free Survival as Measured by Clinical Evaluation and Tumor Measurements by Imaging

Number of Participants With Adverse Events

Secondary outcome:

Log Change in Precursor Frequency as Measured by Elispot.

Log Change of CD4 CEA-specific Immune Responses and Their Kinetics as a Surrogate Marker for Clinical Anti-tumor Activity of the Vaccines

Immune Response to the Vaccine in Those Patients With Late Recovery of Thymic Function

Number of Months of Progression Free Survival

Number of Participants With an Immune Response as a Result of the Salvage Immunization Schedule

Number of Participants With a Clinical Response

Detailed description: BACKGROUND: Metastatic breast cancer remains to this day a mostly incurable disease, with less than 10% of patients reaching a long-term disease free survival. This study proposes using an immune-depleting chemotherapy as platform for immunotherapy. It is based on the following hypotheses and understanding:

- The combination of dose-intensive followed by immune-depleting chemotherapy provides a

platform for subsequent immunotherapy by: 1. Lengthening the progression-free survival period, thus allowing time for a slow acting therapy such as vaccination to be effective. 2. Maximally decreasing the patient's tumor burden. This has been shown both in clinical and experimental settings to be desirable if not necessary for immunotherapy to be effective. 3. Decreasing the tumor burden which may also decrease a tumor-induced immuno-suppressive effect linked to tumor bulk. 4. Providing tumor antigen exposure following immune depletion in the form of repeated immunizations. This may take advantage of the pattern of immune reconstitution following immune depleting therapy at early time points (antigen-driven peripheral expansion of T-cells) and the renewal of a T-cell repertoire biased towards tumor antigens and anti-tumor responses at later time points.

- Low antigenicity of tumor antigens and immune tolerance may be overcome in a clinically

relevant fashion by providing exposure to the tumor antigens (the carcino-embryonic antigen CEA) in a more immunogenic presentation along with added co-stimulatory signal (in the form of two poxvirus-based recombinant vaccines).

- Due to the post immune depletion defects and delay in immune reconstitution, an

adequate immune response to vaccines may not occur unless the patients are provided, following immune depletion, with unaltered T-cells in the form of re-infusion of pre-chemotherapy lymphocytes. The late recovery of thymic function (18 to 24 months) with reappearance of naive T-cells may play a determinant role in the prevention of later disease progression. It is the rationale for a late series of immunizations. ELIGIBILITY: Patients with metastatic breast cancer untreated with chemotherapy or radiation in the previous 18 months with CEA positivity in either the tumor or the serum. OBJECTIVES: The primary objectives are to evaluate biologically this immunization strategy by assessing CEA specific T-cell responses as well as clinically by comparing the patient event free survival (EFS) to our historical control (protocol 96-C-0104) in which patients have received the same conventional therapy but no immunization DESIGN: Before any chemotherapy patients will be immunized with one of two tumor-specific, recombinant, poxvirus-based deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) Tricom vaccines and sensitized lymphocytes will be cryopreserved. Patients will then receive conventional induction therapy with Paclitaxel, Cyclophosphamide and Doxorubicin, surgery and / or radiation as indicated for local control, then immune depleting chemotherapy with Fludarabine & Cyclophosphamide. Following immune depletion, patients will receive 9 immunization boosts over the next 30 months. Patients whose disease progress through the vaccination schedule, may, under certain circumstances, receive further vaccinations under a more intensive schedule (monthly).


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Both.



All patients must have a diagnosis of metastatic infiltrating carcinoma of the breast including hormone receptor testing. At least one site of metastatic disease must have been confirmed by pathologic or cytologic material. In the choice of a biopsy site, the PI will weigh the morbidity the diagnostic procedure against the probability of positive yield of the diagnostic procedure. All pathologic material must be reviewed by the Pathology Laboratory of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) before treatment. The tumor MUST stain positive for CEA, by standard immuno-histochemistry performed at the Pathology Laboratory of the NCI.

- -Method: 5 microM formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections are deparaffinized and

blocked with methanol-30% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). After antigen retrieval by boiling in citrate buffer, or heating in a microwave oven for 10 minutes, slides are incubated with monoclonal antibodies anti-CEA (diluted 1/1000 Dako). Then, slides are immunostained with avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex and developed with diaminobenzidine. Harris' hematoxylin was used to counter stain the slides. Positivity is defined as greater than 30% of cells staining. Patients may be newly diagnosed with metastatic breast carcinoma or known to have breast carcinoma.

- If newly diagnosed, patients may not have received any chemotherapy for this disease

before entry on study.

- If previously treated for breast cancer, patients may have received chemotherapy or

radiation as adjuvant treatment for non-metastatic disease or metastatic disease but not in the previous 18 months.

- Patients may have been on hormonal therapy for stage IV disease. Patients with

disease progression on hormonal therapy alone are eligible. Karnofsky performance status of greater than or equal to 70% (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 0 or 1) Ejection fraction by multi-gated acquisition scan (MUGA) or 2-dimensional (2-D) echocardiogram within normal institutional limits. In case of insufficient ejection fraction, a stress echocardiogram will be performed. In case of an ejection fraction greater than 35 % but less than 45%, the patient will remain eligible for the study if the increase of ejection fraction with stress is estimated at 10% or more. Creatinine clearance greater than or equal to 60 cc/min Normal urinalysis; if proteinuria is present it must be quantified at less than 1 g / 24 h on a measured 24 h urine collection Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) less than 3 times the upper limit of normal except if believed to be due to tumor involvement of the liver prior to induction therapy. Bilirubin less than 1. 5 (except if due to tumor involvement prior to induction therapy or in cases of Gilbert's disease). Absolute Neutrophil Count greater than l000 / mm^3 and Platelet count greater than 90,000 Corrected carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO) greater than 50% No history of abnormal bleeding tendency or predisposition to repeated infections. Patient must be able to avoid close contact with children under 3 years old, pregnant women, individuals with eczema or other skin conditions, and immuno-suppressed people for 2 weeks after initial vaccination. (see protocol for specific exclusion criteria for vaccinia administration). Patients must agree to make specific arrangements, if necessary, in order to comply and be eligible. Patients must be able to give informed consent. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Age less than 18 years Patients in whom an urgent or emergent clinical situation does not safely allow for the short delay in initiating the Concurrent Therapy (as defined in protocol) necessary for the pre-treatment immunization and lymphocyte collection (at the discretion of the PI). Patients requiring chronic immunosuppressive therapy (including corticosteroids) for any medical condition. Patients with an autoimmune disease: autoimmune neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, or hemolytic anemia; Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Sjogren syndrome, Scleroderma, Systemic Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis; Multiple sclerosis, Goodpasture syndrome; Addison's disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or active Graves' disease) Any abnormality on the following tests suggestive of an autoimmune disease: anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), anti-deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) after review with appropriate consultant. Patients with endocrine disease that is controlled by replacement therapy including, diabetes, thyroid and adrenal disease or vitiligo may be enrolled. Patients with active inflammatory bowel disease Patients with clinically significant cardiomyopathy requiring treatment or symptomatic congestive heart failure (CHF), symptomatic arrhythmia that is not controlled by medication, unstable coronary artery disease (CAD) such as unstable angina who require active intervention, and patients with a recent infarction or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) within the past 6 months Patients testing positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B or C Patients known or found to be pregnant or those unwilling to discontinue breastfeeding. The effects of the chemotherapy, vaccines, and the medications used in this study are highly likely to be harmful to a fetus. The effects upon breast milk are also unknown and may be harmful to the infant; therefore, women should not breastfeed while on this study. Patients of childbearing age who are unwilling to practice an effective form of contraception. Patients of childbearing potential must use an effective method of contraception while they are on-study; effective methods include intrauterine device (IUD), hormonal (birth control pills, injections, or implants), tubal ligation/hysterectomy (self or partner), partner's vasectomy, or barrier methods (condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap), or abstinence. Patients with brain metastases. Patients with an active second malignancy (excluding treated skin cancers or carcinoma in-situ) will be ineligible. Patients with a life expectancy reasonably estimated at less than 6 months. Patients may be excluded at the discretion of the principal investigator (PI) if it is deemed that allowing participation would represent an unacceptable medical or psychiatric risk. History of splenectomy Allergy to eggs Several exclusion criteria are specific to vaccinia administration: The recombinant vaccinia vaccine should not be administered if the following apply to either recipients or, for at least two weeks after vaccination, to their close household contacts (Close household contacts are those who share housing or have close physical contact):

- Persons with active or a history of eczema or other eczematoid skin disorders

- Persons with other acute, chronic or exfoliative skin conditions (e. g., atopic

dermatitis, burns, impetigo, varicella zoster, severe acne or other open rashes or wounds) until condition resolves;

- Pregnant or nursing women

- Children under 3 years of age;

- Immunodeficient or immunosuppressed persons by disease or therapy, including HIV


- History of seizures, encephalitis, or multiple sclerosis

- History of allergy or complications with past vaccinia vaccination.

Locations and Contacts

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, United States

Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601, United States

Additional Information

Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE)

Starting date: November 2002
Last updated: March 20, 2012

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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