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Randomized Pivotal Trial to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Preoperative Focused Microwave Thermotherapy Plus Preoperative Chemotherapy Versus Preoperative Chemotherapy Alone for Cytoreduction of Large Breast Cancer in Female Patients With Intact Breast

Phase 3
18 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Breast Cancer

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Trial Information

Randomized Pivotal Trial to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Preoperative Focused Microwave Thermotherapy Plus Preoperative Chemotherapy Versus Preoperative Chemotherapy Alone for Cytoreduction of Large Breast Cancer in Female Patients With Intact Breast

This randomized multicenter Phase III clinical trial is intended to provide
histopathological and clinical information on an innovative, minimally-invasive approach
(focused microwave thermotherapy) to the preoperative treatment of breast cancer, using a
minimally invasive focused microwave phased array device, the Medifocus, Inc. APA 1000
Breast Thermotherapy Treatment System (heat treatment). Subjects with large primary
operable breast cancer, in the intact breast, with clinical tumor size greater than or equal
to 3.5 cm (including tumor classification T2 or T3), clinically node negative N0 or node
positive (N1 or N2) with distant metastasis (M1) or without distant metastasis (M0) will be
randomized (ratio 1:1) to receive (1) preoperative thermotherapy combined with preoperative
anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy and standard of care versus (2) preoperative
anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy and standard of care alone. The
anthracycline-based regimen will be limited to those of the current National Comprehensive
Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for dose/drug/schedule at the time of patient enrollment.
In both arms of the study, standard of care including breast imaging, drugs, and radiation
therapy will be provided to all eligible subjects during and following the preoperative
regimen. At the clinical discretion of the treating physician, subjects that are
estrogen-receptor positive may receive Tamoxifen therapy the day following the completion of
chemotherapy. Radiation therapy to the breast tissues and lymph nodes will be given as part
of the standard of care for eligible subjects. Treatment Arm I (new arm) regimen includes
three preoperative thermotherapy treatments at intervals corresponding to the first three
cycles of anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy plus standard of care. The addition
of preoperative thermotherapy to preoperative anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy
may improve the tumor response rate in terms of shrinkage (the primary endpoint) and may
increase the option to perform breast conservation (a secondary endpoint) compared to that
achieved with preoperative anthracycline-based combination chemotherapy and standard of care
alone. Note: Since there is no consensus combination drug regimen for neoadjuvant treatment
of large breast cancer tumors, each study site will use its own standard of care which will
include other chemotherapy/drug agents commonly used in combination with an anthracycline
(Doxorubicin (trade name Adriamycin) or Epirubicin (trade name Ellence)), which is the study
base drug type.

The rationale for including patients that have distant metastasis (M1) at enrollment in this
study is as follows. Traditionally, patients with stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer and an
intact primary breast tumor have been treated with chemotherapy and radiation for palliation
of symptoms, because this metastatic condition is considered to be an incurable disease. In
some cases, surgery has been considered for stage IV patients with large, symptomatic breast
lesions to control local wound complications and to improve quality of life. However, four
recent retrospective peer-reviewed studies have suggested that removing the primary tumor
may lead to an improvement in overall survival.

The investigator or designee will fully explain the nature of the study to the subject,
along with the aims, methods, anticipated benefits, potential hazards and discomfort that
participation might entail. After the nature of the study has been explained and all the
subject's questions have been answered, and if the subject agrees to participate in the
study, the informed consent will be reviewed and signed by the subject.

Each subject will be treated by thermochemotherapy (new arm) or chemotherapy alone (control
arm) and followed for 90 days after surgery during the study. Patients will be followed
annually as practiced as standard of care by each participating institution - patients will
be followed for tumor recurrence and future medical intervention related to the patient's
breast cancer.

Thermotherapy is administered in an out-patient setting. During thermotherapy which is
completed in approximately 60 minutes or less, the patient is treated in the prone position
on a treatment bed. After administering a local anesthetic, to guide the treatment a
minimally invasive combination microwave/temperature probe is placed in the tumor under
ultrasound guidance. The thermotherapy treatment is adjusted in accordance with patient

Anthracycline-based chemotherapy will be administered in accordance with standard
preoperative chemotherapy delivery at each study center - the number of chemotherapy cycles
and cycle timing may vary in this study. Each study center will be using anthracycline
(Doxorubicin or Epidoxorubicin) as the base chemotherapy agent and the other chemotherapy
agents and drugs will vary depending on the study center and subject specific needs. Each
cycle of Doxorubicin at 60 mg/m2 for four cycles or Epidoxorubicin at 100 mg/m2 for 6 cycles
and combination Standard of Care chemotherapy will be administered nominally every 21 (plus
or minues 7) days. The timing between cycles of anthracycline can be subject specific at
the physician's discretion, but in no case will anthracycline be administered with a cycle
timing of less than seven (7) days between anthracycline cycles. A thermotherapy session
will be administered on the same day as the administration of the first, second, and third
cycle of preoperative Doxorubicin or Epidoxorubicin chemotherapy. Chemotherapy will be
administered and then the subject will receive thermotherapy. (If the thermotherapy session
cannot be administered on the same day as Doxorubicin or Epidoxorubicin chemotherapy it will
be administered as soon as possible the following day but no later than 36 hours post
Doxorubicin or Epidoxorubicin chemotherapy. The remaining cycle(s) of chemotherapy will
then be administered without thermotherapy. If the desired cumulative minimum thermal dose
is achieved in the first three thermotherapy treatments, the remaining cycle(s) of
chemotherapy will then be administered without thermotherapy. If the desired cumulative
minimum thermal dose is not achieved during the first three preoperative Doxorubicin or
Epidoxorubicin chemotherapy cycles, thermotherapy will be administered with the fourth cycle
of preoperative chemotherapy. If the subject cannot tolerate more than one or two
thermotherapy treatments, the subject will continue in the study on the remaining cycles of
chemotherapy. If the subject has clinically progressive disease, the thermo-chemotherapy
treatment will be discontinued and the subject will receive the remaining cycles of
chemotherapy preoperatively or postoperatively (as standard care).

At the end of the course of thermo-chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone, and following all
pre-surgery evaluations, the surgeon and subject will make decisions on the extent of
surgery to be performed. These decisions will be made on the basis of surgical and
institutional standards, and those of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines. Subjects will undergo mastectomy or breast-conserving
surgery. It is understood that some subjects will select mastectomy for treatment even when
the surgeon recommends breast conservation. The surgeon shall document the reasons why
either mastectomy or breast conservation was selected.

The subject will undergo clinical exam and imaging of the breast to measure tumor size, the
day prior to or the day of the lumpectomy or mastectomy. Any additional imaging will be at
the discretion of the physician. At the discretion of the physician, an optional core
biopsy of the tumor will be taken the day prior or the day of the surgery.

Following surgery, pathology will be performed on the excised breast tumor tissue to
determine tumor cell death. For breast conservation, the breast must be of sufficient size
to allow adequate tumor removal with a satisfactory cosmetic result. The objective of
surgery is to obtain local control of the breast cancer with the best cosmetic result
possible. A breast conservation surgery procedure requires excision of the tumor and
margins without removal of more normal breast tissue than is required to achieve negative
margins. Pathologic evaluation of the excised tissue will determine whether the margins are
negative or positive. For subjects with involved margins following breast conservation
surgery, if the breast will tolerate it, the subject may undergo one or more further
segmental resections in order to achieve clear margins.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Subjects must fulfill all of the following criteria to be eligible to participate in
the study unless a specific waiver is requested by the investigator, agreed to by the
sponsor, and documented for the study records. This protocol does not supersede
Institutional IRB requirements for patient eligibility.

1. Female subject must be 18 years of age or older.

2. Subject must have adequate cognitive function to understand and sign the IRB/EC
- approved informed consent prior to the performance of any study-specific

3. The subject must be at no risk for pregnancy either postmenopausal for at least
one year, surgically sterile (i.e. hysterectomy), using two forms of birth
control one being barrier method or practicing abstinence throughout the length
of the study. The subject must also have a negative serum pregnancy test prior
to any study-specific procedure.

4. Subject must have diagnosis by core biopsy of primary breast cancer, invasive
ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma, clinical tumor size 3.5 cm or
greater, tumor classification T2 or T3, clinically node positive (N1, N2) or
node negative (N0) by clinical exam, CT scan, or ultrasound, with distant
metastasis (M1) or without distant metastasis (M0), with an indication for

5. Primary tumor must be measurable on breast ultrasound (US).

6. Primary tumor must be measurable by clinical exam.

7. Subject is a candidate for mastectomy and is eligible for neoadjuvant treatment.

8. Subject is a candidate for preoperative anthracycline-based combination

9. Subject has a life expectancy of 6 months or more.

10. Karnofsky Score > 70.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Subjects meeting any of the following criteria will be excluded from the study unless
a specific waiver is requested by the investigator, agreed to by the sponsor, and
documented appropriately for the study records. This protocol does not supersede
Institutional IRB requirements for patient eligibility:

1. Pregnant or lactating subject.

2. Mentally unable to participate in the study successfully because they are unable
to understand the informed consent or unable to comply with the required study

3. Currently has breast implants.

4. Bilateral breast cancer.

5. Subjects with malignant breast tumors other than invasive ductal or invasive
lobular carcinomas.

6. Subject is a candidate for breast conservation at enrollment.

7. Unable to tolerate prone position or breast compression.

8. Clinically significant heart disease, pacemakers, or defibrillators.

9. Bleeding disorders. Laboratory evidence of coagulopathy (PT, INR > 1.5; PTT >
1.5) or those who are receiving anticoagulants.

10. Thrombocytopenia (platelet count less than 100,000/mm3).

11. Renal insufficiency (BUN > 30 mg/dlan/or serum creatinine > 1.9 mg/dl).

12. Liver disease (bilirubin > 2.0 mg/dl and or > 2 fold increase of transaminases).

13. Diagnosis of cancer made by lumpectomy or incisional biopsy.

14. Contraindications to chemotherapy.

15. Clinical tumor fixation to the pectoralis major muscle or presence of skin
nodules, involvement of the nipple.

16. Breast cancer with a high probability of extensive intra-ductal in situ disease
(extensive DCIS or LCIS).

17. Multicentric disease (no satellite tumors greater than 2 cm diameter and no
greater than 1.5 cm from the primary tumor as measured from the edge of the
satellite tumor to the nearest edge of the primary tumor).

18. Prior history of collagen vascular disease.

19. Previous participation in Celsion Corporation study 201 or 202.

20. Subject has participated in an investigation drug or device trial 30 days prior
to the screening visit or plans to enroll in an investigational drug or device
trial at any time during this study. However current participation in another
clinical study involving imaging is not exclusion.

21. Subject has a history of drug or alcohol abuse in the last 12 months.

22. Non-glandular breast cancers

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

Tumor Shrinkage (ultrasound)

Outcome Description:

Evaluate the efficiency of preoperative focused microwave thermotherapy as an adjunct to chemotherapy to increase the ultrasound-measured absolute mean tumor percent shrinkage by volume over that achieved by SOC preoperative chemotherapy.

Outcome Time Frame:

Prior to Surgery, on average 4 months from the start of treatment

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

William C. Dooley, MD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

University of Oklahoma


United States: Food and Drug Administration

Study ID:




Start Date:

November 2010

Completion Date:

December 2012

Related Keywords:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Breast Tumor
  • Breast Neoplasm
  • Neoplasms by Site
  • Neoplasms
  • Breast Diseases
  • Breast Conserving Surgery
  • Breast Conservation
  • Partial Mastectomy
  • Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Surgery
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Primary Therapy
  • Neoadjuvant Systemic Therapy
  • Thermotherapy
  • Fever Therapy
  • Hot Temperature
  • Hyperthermia
  • Hyperthermia, Therapeutic
  • Hyperthermia, Local
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • Therapeutic Hyperthermia
  • Microwave
  • Focused Microwave
  • Focused Microwave Thermotherapy
  • Minimally Invasive
  • Doxorubicin
  • Epirubicin
  • Epidoxirubicin
  • Immunosuppresive Agent
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Physiological Effects of Drugs
  • Chemotherapy
  • Drug Therapy
  • Pharmalogic Actions
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Therapeutic Uses
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Alkylating Agents
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Myeloblative Agonists
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Anthracycline Agents
  • Breast Neoplasms



Mary Beth Tomaselli Coral Springs, Florida  33071
Dr. William Dooley Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73104