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for people ages 18 years and up
at Berkeley, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion:
Principal Investigator



This is a randomised, open label multi-centre phase III study comparing the activity of lapatinib alone versus trastuzumab alone versus trastuzumab followed by lapatinib versus lapatinib concomitantly with trastuzumab in the adjuvant treatment of patients with ErbB2 overexpressing and/or amplified breast cancer. Patients will be enrolled according to one of two design schemas, with Design 2 having two chemotherapy options (Design 2 and 2B), and will be randomised to one of four treatment regimens within each design schema. The primary objective of this study is to compare disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with HER2 overexpressing and/or amplified breast cancer randomised to trastuzumab for one year versus lapatinib for one year versus trastuzumab (12 or 18 weeks, according to assigned design) followed by a six-week treatment-free interval followed by lapatinib (28 or 34 weeks, according to assigned design) versus trastuzumab in combination with lapatinib for one year (52 weeks). Secondary objectives include treatment comparisons with respect to overall survival, time to recurrence, time to distant recurrence, safety and tolerability, incidence of brain metastasis, and analyses conducted separately for cohorts of patients defined by presence or absence of cMyc oncogene amplification, expression level of PTEN and presence or absence of the p95HER2 receptor. On August 18, 2011, the ALTTO Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) met to review the first planned interim analysis. The IDMC reported that the comparison of lapatinib alone versus trastuzumab alone crossed the futility boundary, indicating that the lapatinib alone arm was unlikely to meet the pre-specified criteria to demonstrate non-inferiority to trastuzumab alone with respect to disease-free survival (DFS). The IDMC also stated that the other three arms (trastuzumab alone, sequential trastuzumab/lapatinib arm and the combination arm) should continue as planned with no changes.

Official Title

A Randomised, Multi-centre, Open-label, Phase III Study of Adjuvant Lapatinib, Trastuzumab, Their Sequence and Their Combination in Patients With HER2/ErbB2 Positive Primary Breast Cancer


Neoplasms, Breast Adjuvant ErbB2-overexpressing Early stage breast cancer HER2/neu gene amplified Lapatinib Trastuzumab


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Age ≥ 18 years
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤ 1;
  • Non-metastatic operable primary invasive adenocarcinoma of the breast fulfilling the following:

    1. Histologically confirmed
    2. Adequately excised (exceptions: patients who have 'non-resectable' deep margin invasion are eligible provided they have had or will receive radiotherapy encompassing the region concerned; patients with histologically documented infiltration of the skin (pT4) are eligible provided they have undergone or will receive radiotherapy encompassing the tumour bed);
    3. Axilla dissected; sentinel node sampling is allowed provided that axillary dissection follows confirmation of a positive sentinel node; sentinel node sampling alone is NOT acceptable after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (in patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy lymph node status will be considered unknown,regardless of the results of post-chemotherapy axillary dissection);
    4. Axillary node positive patient OR node negative patient with a tumour greater than or equal to 1.0 cm in greatest diameter. For clarification, isolated tumour cells (ITC) are considered pN0 and micrometastases are considered pN1
  • Known hormone receptor status (ER/PgR or ER alone)
  • For Designs 1 and 2: Patients must have received at least four cycles of an approved anthracycline-based (neo-) adjuvant chemotherapy regimen or listed as an exception in Table 5 of the protocol.

For Design 1: Randomization must be performed no longer than 12 weeks from day 1 of the last chemotherapy cycle after obtaining a post-chemotherapy LVEF ≥ 50. Study treatment must start no more than 14 days after randomization For Design 2: Randomization must be performed no longer than 6 weeks from day 1 of the last anthracycline-containing chemotherapy cycle after obtaining a post-anthracycline chemotherapy LVEF ≥ 50. Study treatment must start no more than 14 days after randomization and must be concurrent with taxanes.

For Design 2B: Randomisation must be performed no longer than 8 weeks from definitive surgery. Non-anthracycline platinum containing regimen (docetaxel and carboplatin) and study treatment must start concomitantly and no more than 14 days after randomisation.

  • Baseline LVEF ≥50% measured by echocardiography or MUGA scan. For Design 1 and Design 2 - after completion of all anthracycline-based (neo-) adjuvant chemotherapy and prior to the targeted therapy(ies); for Design 2B - prior to targeted therapy(ies)and chemotherapy (docetaxel and carboplatin)
  • Over expression and/or amplification of HER2 in the invasive component of the primary tumour (in case of neoadjuvant treatment, tissue sample used for HER2 testing should be collected before neoadjuvant treatment starts), according to one of the following definitions [Wolff et al 2007] and confirmed by central laboratory prior to randomization:
  • 3+ over expression by IHC (> 30% of invasive tumour cells);
  • 2+ or 3+ (in 30% or less neoplastic cells) over expression by IHC AND in situ hybridization (FISH/CISH) test demonstrating HER2 gene amplification;
  • HER2 gene amplification by FISH/CISH (> 6 HER2 gene copies per nucleus, or a FISH ratio [HER2 gene copies to chromosome 17 signals] of> than 2.2.) Patients with a negative or equivocal overall result (FISH test ratio of ≤ 2.2, ≤ 6.0 HER2 gene copies per nucleus) and staining scores of 0, 1+, 2+ or 3+ (in 30% or less neoplastic cells) by IHC are not eligible for participation in the trial.

    Equivocal local results may be submitted for a final determination by the central laboratory.

  • Completion of all necessary baseline laboratory and radiological investigations
  • Signed written informed consent (approved by an Independent Ethics Committee (IEC)and obtained prior to any study specific screening procedures).

You CAN'T join if...

  • History of any prior (ipsi- and/or contralateral) invasive breast carcinoma;
  • Past (less than 10 years) or current history of malignant neoplasms, except for curatively treated 1) basal and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin or 2) carcinoma in situ of the cervix.

NOTE: Patients with a prior malignancy diagnosed greater than 10 years in the past who have been curatively treated with surgery ONLY, WITHOUT radiation therapy or systemic therapy (chemotherapy or endocrine) are eligible for the study. Patients with any prior diagnosis of breast cancer or melanoma, at any time, are excluded from this study.

  • Any clinically staged T4 tumour, including inflammatory breast cancer;
  • Bilateral tumours;
  • This exclusion criterion has been removed as of protocol amendment 1.

NOTE: multifocal/multicentric tumours are permitted:

  • If the patient is node-negative: one of the lesions must be equal or greater than 1.0 cm (sum of the lesion diameters is not acceptable) AND must have positive HER2 status centrally-confirmed;
  • If patient is node-positive: lesion size does not matter BUT one of the lesions must have HER2 positivity centrally-confirmed. If several lesions are found to be HER2 positive locally, the largest lesion should be considered for central review.
  • Maximum cumulative dose of doxorubicin>360mg/m² or maximum cumulative dose of epirubicin>720mg/m² or any prior anthracyclines unrelated to the present breast cancer;
  • (Neo-) or adjuvant chemotherapy using peripheral stem cell or bone marrow stem cell support;
  • Any prior mediastinal irradiation except internal mammary node irradiation for the present breast cancer;
  • Patients with positive or suspicious internal mammary nodes identified by sentinel node technique which have not been irradiated or will not be irradiated, or patients with supraclavicular lymph node involvement (confirmed by fine needle aspirate or biopsy);
  • Prior use of anti-HER2 therapy for any reason or other prior biologic or immunotherapy for breast cancer;
  • Concurrent anti-cancer treatment, except hormonal therapy or radiotherapy for the present breast cancer;
  • Concurrent anti-cancer treatment in another investigational trial with hormone therapy or immunotherapy unless approved by the Executive Committee:
  • Serious cardiac illness or medical conditions including but not confined to:

    History of documented congestive heart failure (CHF) or systolic dysfunction (LVEF <50%);High-risk uncontrolled arrhythmias (ventricular tachycardia, high-grade AV-block,supraventricular arrhythmias which are not adequately rate-controlled); Angina pectoris requiring antianginal medication; Clinically significant valvular heart disease; Evidence of transmural infarction on ECG; Poorly controlled hypertension (e.g. systolic>180mm Hg or diastolic>100mm Hg);

  • Other concurrent serious diseases that may interfere with planned treatment including severe pulmonary conditions/illness;
  • Any of the following abnormal laboratory tests immediately prior to randomization:

    serum total bilirubin>1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN), in the case of known Gilbert's syndrome, a higher serum total bilirubin (<2 X ULN) is allowed; alanine amino transferase(ALAT) or aspartate amino transferase (ASAT)>2.5 x ULN; alkaline phosphatase (ALP)> 2.5 x ULN; serum creatinine>2.0 x ULN; total white blood cell count (WBC) <2.5 x 10^9/L;absolute neutrophil count <1.5 x 10^9/L; platelets <100 x 10^9/L.

  • Unresolved or unstable serious adverse events from prior adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy;
  • Malabsorption syndrome, any disease significantly affecting gastrointestinal function, or resection of the stomach or small bowel, or persons unable to swallow oral medication. Subjects with ulcerative colitis are also excluded;
  • Pregnant, lactating or women of childbearing potential without a negative pregnancy test - urine or serum - within 7 days prior to randomization, irrespective of the method of contraception used, including tubal ligation;
  • Women of childbearing potential and male participants with partners of child bearing potential, including women whose last menstrual period was <12 months ago (unless surgically sterile) who are unable or unwilling to use adequate contraceptive measures during study treatment (adequate contraceptive measures: intra-uterine device, barrier method - condoms, diaphragm - also in conjunction with spermicidal jelly, or total abstinence. Oral, injectable, or implant hormonal contraceptives are not indicated in this patient population);
  • Concomitant use of CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers.


  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Berkeley, California, 94705, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Burlingame, California, 94010, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Castro Valley, California, 94546, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Fairfield, California, 94533, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Fremont, California, 94538, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Greenbrae, California, 94904, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Martinez, California, 94553, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Marysville, California, 95901, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Mountain View, California, 94040, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Oakland, California, 94602, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Oakland, California, 94609, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Palo Alto, California, 94301, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Pleasanton, California, 94588, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Sacramento, California, 95817, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    San Francisco, California, 94110, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    San Francisco, California, 94115, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    San Francisco, California, 94118, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    San Leandro, California, 94578, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Vallejo, California, 94589, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Duarte, California, 91010, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Fresno, California, 93720, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Glendale, California, 91204, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    La Jolla, California, 92093, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    La Jolla, California, 92093, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Loma Linda, California, 92534, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Monterey, California, 93940, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Murrieta, California, 92562, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Orange, California, 92868, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Palm Springs, California, 92262, USA
  • Novartis Investigative Site
    Pismo Beach, California, 93449, USA


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Phase 3
Lead Scientist
Chia-Ching Wang
Study Type
Last Updated
April 2016