This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
Treatment axitinib (ag-013736)
Phase phase 2
Sponsor University of Michigan Cancer Center
Start date January 2012
End date January 2016
Trial size 40 participants
Trial identifier NCT01469546, HUM00051095, UMCC 2011.053


The purpose of this study is to investigate a new agent Axitinib in the treatment of head and neck cancer.

This is a new drug that is given as a pill twice a day to treat cancer. This is one of the new, "smart" drugs. It binds to a protein on the surface of the cancer cell called VEGFR, and this way it slows down the growth of cancer cells and kills them. Head and neck cancer cells are known to carry this protein on their surface. Research in animals and in patients with other kinds of cancer showed that Axitinib can be effective at killing cancer cells, or stopping their growth, by this mechanism. It is generally a safe drug that is given by mouth. The investigators do not know, however, whether Axitinib is effective in head and neck cancer. This research study is being conducted to learn if Axitinib works in head and neck cancer, and also to learn to predict who would benefit from it. Four blood draws will be done to check special blood tests while the subjects are treated with Axitinib. These will be drawn at the same time as your routine labs, and there will not be additional sticks needed. A biopsy of the tumor before and after 1 month of treatment may be obtained to test how the cancer cells are responding to treatment. By testing these blood and tissue samples, the researchers will look at special tests (protein molecules) to try to determine what kind of head and neck patients would best respond to this drug. This is an open-label study, meaning that all subjects are on the active drug and there is no placebo (sugar pill).

United States No locations recruiting
Other Countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Intervention model single group assignment
Masking open label
Primary purpose treatment
A prospective, single-institution, single-arm phase II study of Axitinib in patients with unresectable recurrent and metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma who have received no more than two prior lines of systemic therapy for recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer.
axitinib (ag-013736)
The subjects will be started on treatment with 5 mg of Axitinib twice a day continuously, with subsequent dose escalation to 7 mg and then 10 mg twice a day in the absence of grade 2 or worse toxicities. This will be followed by clinical and/or radiologic response assessment after 8 weeks and subsequently every 2 months until disease progression (defined per RECIST [Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors] criteria, or obvious progression on clinical or laryngoscopic/endoscopic exam) or intolerable toxicity (defined as below). During treatment on this protocol, all patients will be evaluated for safety. Correlative biomarker analysis will also be conducted.

Primary Outcomes

Progression-free survival (PFS) rate
time frame: 6 months

Secondary Outcomes

Objective Response Rate and Disease Control Rate
time frame: 2 years
time frame: While on axitinib and for 28 days after cessation of axitinib
Progression-Free Survival Rate
time frame: 2 and 4 month
Dynamic between VEGF, EGF, PDGF, HGF, FGF and their receptors, as well as IL-6, IL-8, Jak2 and STAT3 upon treatment with Axitinib
time frame: prior to initiation of therapy, 2, 4 and 8 weeks
Correlation of above data, as well as patients' HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) status and tumor microvessel density
time frame: prior to initiation of therapy and at 4 weeks
Linear mixed effects regression to compare the change in each marker over time between responders and non-responders
time frame: 8 weeks to 6 months
Prognostic and/or predictive pattern
time frame: 2 years

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants at least 18 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: 1. Histologically documented squamous cell head and neck cancer with or without metastases, not amenable to curative treatment. 2. Presence of measurable disease by CT scan. 3. Adequate bone marrow, hepatic, and renal function (including absence of proteinuria, PT (Prothrombin Time) <1.5, WBC (White Blood Cell count)≥ 3x109 cells/ml, ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) ≥ 1.5x109 cell/ml, platelets ≥75,000 cells/mm3, hemoglobin ≥ 9.0 g/dL, concentrations of total serum bilirubin within 1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN), AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase), ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) within 2.5x institutional upper limits of normal unless there are liver metastases in which case AST and ALT within 5.0 x ULN, serum creatinin clearance ≥ 60 ml/min), urinary protein <2+ by urine dipstick (if dipstick is ≥2+ then a 24-hour urine collection can be done and the patient may enter only if urinary protein is <2 g per 24 hours), documented within 14 days prior to initiation of Axitinib treatment. 4. Age ≥18 years. 5. ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) performance status of 0-2. 6. Life expectancy of ≥12 weeks. 7. No evidence of preexisting uncontrolled hypertension as documented by 2 baseline blood pressure readings taken at least 30 minutes apart. The baseline systolic blood pressure readings must be ≤140 mm Hg, and the baseline diastolic blood pressure readings must be ≤90 mm Hg. Patients whose hypertension is controlled by antihypertensive therapies are eligible. 8. Women of childbearing potential must have a negative serum or urine pregnancy test within 3 days prior to treatment. 9. Signed and dated informed consent document indicating that the patient (or legally acceptable representative) has been informed of all pertinent aspects of the trial prior to enrollment. 10. Willingness and ability to comply with scheduled visits, treatment plans, including willingness to take Axitinib, laboratory tests, and other study procedures. Exclusion Criteria: 1. Central lung lesions involving major blood vessels (arteries or veins) or a tumor encasing major blood vessels (i.e. carotid artery). 2. History of hemoptysis. 3. Gastrointestinal abnormalities causing impaired absorption requiring intravenous alimentation, prior surgical procedures affecting absorption including gastric resection, treatment for active peptic ulcer disease in the past 6 months, active gastrointestinal bleeding, unrelated to cancer, as evidenced by hematemesis, hematochezia or melena in the past 3 months without evidence of resolution documented by endoscopy or colonoscopy, malabsorption syndromes. 4. Previous treatment with anti-angiogenesis agents including thalidomide, or inhibitors of epidermal growth factor (EGF), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), or fibroblast growth factors (FGF) receptors within 30 days preceding study entrance. 5. Current use or anticipated inability to avoid use of drugs that are known potent CYP3A4 inhibitors (ie, grapefruit juice, verapamil, ketoconazole, miconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin, ergot derivatives, indinavir, saquinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir, lopinavir, atazanavir, amprenavir, fosamprenavir , and delavirdine). 6. Current use or anticipated inability to avoid use of drugs that are known CYP3A4 or CYP1A2 inducers (ie, carbamazepine, felbamate, omeprazole, phenobarbital, phenytoin, amobarbital, nevirapine, primidone, rifabutin, rifampin, and St. John's wort). 7. Active seizure disorder or evidence of brain metastases, spinal cord compression, or carcinomatous meningitis. 8. A serious uncontrolled medical disorder or active infection that would impair their ability to receive study treatment. 9. History of a malignancy (other than head and neck cancer) except those treated with curative intent for skin cancer (other than melanoma), in situ breast or in situ cervical cancer, or those treated with curative intent for any other cancer with no evidence of disease for 2 years. 10. Major surgery <4 weeks or radiation therapy <2 weeks of starting the study treatment. Prior palliative radiotherapy to metastatic lesion(s) is permitted, provided there is at least one measurable lesion that has not been irradiated. 11. Dementia or significantly altered mental status that would prohibit the understanding or rendering of informed consent and compliance with the requirements of this protocol. 12. Patients (male and female) having procreative potential who are not willing or not able to use adequate contraception or practicing abstinence. 13. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. 14. History of prior treatment with more than 2 lines of therapy for metastatic head and neck cancer. 15. Patients with history of bleeding diathesis, DVT (deep venous thrombosis) or arterial thromboembolism, current use of therapeutic anticoagulation with oral vitamin K antagonists, factor Xa inhibitors, heparin products, oral direct thrombin inhibitors, or presence of non-healing wounds. Low-dose anticoagulants for maintenance of patency of central venous access device or prevention of deep venous thrombosis is allowed. 16. Patients residing in prison. 17. Prior experimental therapy within 30 days of planned start of this trial. 18. HIV virus infection irrespective of viral load, treatment status, or CD4 count, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related illness. 19. Any of the following within the 12 months prior to study drug administration: myocardial infarction, uncontrolled angina, coronary/peripheral artery bypass graft, symptomatic congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular accident or transient ischemic attack. 20. History of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism within 6 month of anticipated starting of Axitinib.

Additional Information

Official title Phase II Trial Evaluating Axitinib (AG-013736) In Patients With Unresectable, Recurrent Or Metastatic Head And Neck Cancer
Principal investigator Francis P Worden, MD
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in December 2014.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by University of Michigan Cancer Center.