Erlotinib Hydrochloride in Treating Participants With Muscle Invasive or Recurrent Urothelial Cancer


This phase II trial studies how well erlotinib hydrochloride works in Treating participants with muscle invasive urothelial cancer or urothelial cancer that has come back. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as erlotinib hydrochloride, work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading.

Full Title of Study: “A Phase II Exploratory Study of Pre-Operative Treatment With Erlotinib (Tarceva) in Muscle Invasive or Recurrent Transitional Cell Carcinoma Requiring Cystectomy”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 30, 2019

Detailed Description

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES: I. To estimate the response rate (ie: pT0 rate) of patients with urothelial cancer treated with erlotinib prior to cystectomy. SECONDARY OBJECTIVES: I. To estimate the 4-year disease-free survival of patients with urothelial cancer treated with erlotinib prior to cystectomy. II. To measure epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers (E-cadherin, HER4, PDGFR-beta, vimentin, fibronectin) in pre- and post-treatment biopsies and correlate expression patterns with the biological responses measured below. III. To quantify target inhibition, antiproliferation (KI-67), and apoptosis (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling [TUNEL]) in biopsies obtained from patients before, during, and after therapy. IV. Interrogate membrane (phosphorylated EGFR) and downstream receptor signaling pathways (ERKs, AKT/mTOR, GSK-3beta) to provide further insight into whether or not a given tumor displays a biological response. V. To correlate the changes in Ki-67 expression with changes in angiogenesis and angiogenesis related gene expression utilizing fluorescent tissue staining techniques that we have developed in the laboratory (such as two-color TUNEL, phosphor-receptor, and microvessel density.) VI. To profile messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression in pre- and post-treatment biopsies using Affymetrix arrays and correlate the changes observed with EMT, growth arrest, and apoptosis. VII. To quantify EGFR copy number and correlate with changes observed with EMT, growth arrest, and apoptosis. OUTLINE: Participants receive erlotinib hydrochloride orally (PO) once daily (QD) for 3-5 weeks in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Within 24 hours of the last dose, participants undergo cystectomy. After completion of study treatment, participants are followed up every 6 months for 1 year, then annually for 4 years.


  • Drug: Erlotinib Hydrochloride
    • Given PO

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Treatment (erlotinib hydrochloride)
    • Participants receive erlotinib hydrochloride PO QD for 3-5 weeks in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Within 24 hours of the last dose, participants undergo cystectomy.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Response Rate
    • Time Frame: Determined at the time of surgery or cystectomy
    • The response rate is the number of patients with urothelial cancer treated with erlotinib prior to cystectomy. The response is defined as the absence of residual cancer in the surgical removed tissue (i.e., pT0). A responder is defined as a participant with the pathological stage of pT0 meaning that there is no evidence of disease.

Secondary Measures

  • Estimated 4-Year Disease-Free Survival
    • Time Frame: 4 years

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients must have histologic proof of urothelial cancer. This includes bladder cancer, in addition to other tumors of the urothelial lining including renal pelvis, ureteral, and urethral cancer. This group may include any patient requiring cystectomy, including patients with recurrent or extensive superficial disease (cTa-T1N0M0), CIS (carcinoma in situ), or muscle invasive disease (cT2-3aN0M0), whose tumor could not be completely removed at transurethral resection – Patients with the following high-risk features: Micropapillary features (more than focal on pathology); Small cell carcinoma; 3-dimensional (D) mass on exam under anesthesia (EUA); Lymphovascular invasion; Hydronephrosis (unless in the opinion of the treating physician, this is not due to tumor); High grade (grade 3) tumors of the ureter, renal pelvis, or urethra, or tumors in these areas with radiographic abnormality large enough to recognize as an abnormal mass by computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging; Direct invasion of the prostatic stroma or the vaginal wall (ie: cT4a disease) should be offered neoadjuvant cytoreductive chemotherapy (ie: cisplatin-based). Patients refusing or who are not considered candidates for cytoreductive chemotherapy may be considered eligible. Dr. Siefker-Radtke will be the final arbiter in determining eligibility for the trial – Please note that the presence of variant histologic subtypes is acceptable, except in the case for small cell variant which is traditionally treated with cytoreductive chemotherapy. Patients with small cell who refuse recommended cytoreductive chemotherapy may still be considered eligible – Patients must have an evaluation in the department of urology, and be deemed an acceptable surgical candidate – Patients must NOT have clinical evidence of metastatic disease by either CT or MRI of the abdomen and pelvis, and chest x-ray. In the absence of a bone scan, patients should be free of bone pain and have an alkaline phosphatase < 1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) of the upper limit of normal, or a normal bone fraction of alkaline phosphatase. If these features are present, patients should have a bone scan and this should be interpreted as showing no evidence of metastatic disease in order to be eligible – Patients, 18 years and older, must either be not of child bearing potential or have a negative pregnancy test within 2 weeks of treatment. Patients are considered not of child bearing potential if they are surgically sterile (they have undergone a hysterectomy, bilateral tubal ligation, or bilateral oophorectomy) or they are postmenopausal – Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >= 1,000/ul – Platelets >= 75,000/microliters – Creatinine =< 2.0 x institutional upper limit of normal (ULN), or a creatinine clearance of > 30 ml/min as calculated by Cockroft-Gault or by 24-hour urine collection – Bilirubin =< 2.5 x ULN – Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) =< 5.0 x ULN – Zubrod performance status (PS) =< 2 – Patients with second malignancies are eligible provided that the expected outcome from the second cancer is such that this will not interfere in the delivery of this therapy, or in doing cystectomy, and provided that the expectation of survival from any prior malignancy is reliably > 4 years Exclusion Criteria:

  • Acute hepatitis or known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – Active or uncontrolled infection – Significant history of uncontrolled cardiac disease; i.e., uncontrolled hypertension, unstable angina, recent myocardial infarction (within prior 6 months), uncontrolled congestive heart failure, and cardiomyopathy with decreased ejection fraction =< 40% – Prior therapy specifically and directly targeting the EGFR pathway – Patients with interstitial lung disease – Any concurrent chemotherapy not indicated in the study protocol or any other investigational agent(s) – Patients with metastatic or surgically unresectable disease are not eligible for this study. In addition, patients who do not agree to surgery are not eligible for this trial – Patients who have received prior systemic chemotherapy or radiation therapy for urothelial cancer are not eligible. Any prior intravesical chemotherapy is allowed

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 19 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Collaborator
    • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Sponsor
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Arlene Siefker-Radtke, Principal Investigator, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

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