for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California and other locations
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Hope Rugo
Headshot of Hope Rugo
Hope Rugo



This research study is a Phase II clinical trial. Phase II clinical trials test the effectiveness of an investigational drug to learn whether the drug works in treating a specific cancer. "Investigational" means that the drug is still being studied and that research doctors are trying to find out more about it-such as the safest dose to use, the side effects it may cause, and if the drug is effective for treating different types of cancer. It also means that the FDA has not approved this drug for use patients undergoing adjuvant treatment for HER2+ breast cancer. Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) is a drug that may stop cancer cells from growing. This drug has been used in other research studies and information from those other research studies suggests that this drug may help to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer in this research study.

The use of T-DM1 in this research study is experimental, which means it is not approved by any regulatory authority for the adjuvant treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. However, it FDA-approved for metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. T-DM1 has caused cancer cells to die in laboratory studies. In preclinical studies, this drug has prevented or slowed the growth of breast cancer. The breast cancer treatments (paclitaxel and Trastuzumab) used in this study are considered part of standard-of-care regimens in early breast cancer. A standard treatment means that this is a treatment that would be accepted by the majority of the medical community as a suitable treatment for your type of breast cancer.

In this research study, the investigators are looking to see if the study drug T-DM1 will have less side effects than traditional HER2-positive breast cancer treatment of trastuzumab and paclitaxel. The investigators are also hoping to learn about the long term benefits and disease-free survival of participants who take the study drug T-DM1 in comparison to those participants to take the combination of trastuzumab and paclitaxel.

Official Title

A Randomized Phase II Study of Trastuzumab Emtansine (T-DM1) vs. Paclitaxel in Combination With Trastuzumab for Stage I HER2-Positive Breast Cancer (ATEMPT Trial)


If a participant agrees to participate in this study she will be asked to undergo some screening tests or procedures to confirm that she is eligible. Many of these tests and procedures are likely to be part of regular cancer care and may be done even if turns out that she does not take part in this research study. If she has had some of these tests or procedures recently, they may or may not have to be repeated. These tests and procedures will include: a medical history, performance status, assessment of your tumor, blood tests, cardiac tests, pregnancy test and a collection of tumor tissue. If these tests show that she is eligible to participate in the research study, she will begin the study treatment. If she does not meet the eligibility criteria, she will not be able to participate in this research study.

Because no one knows which of the study options is best, the participant will be "randomized" into one of the study groups after she has had her breast surgery: Group 1 or Group 2. Randomization means that she is put into a group by chance. Neither the participant nor the research doctor will choose what group she will be in. The participant will have a one in three chance of being placed in any group. Approximately 375 study participants will receive the study drug, while 125 study participants will receive the standard therapy of trastuzumab and paclitaxel.

Group 1 participants will receive the study drug T-DM1 every three weeks by IV (intravenous injection) for 17 treatments (total of 51 weeks).

Group 2 participants will receive the FDA-approved drugs Paclitaxel and Trastuzumab once per week by IV for 12 weeks. Then beginning week 13, participants will receive Trastuzumab only by IV injection every three weeks for the next 13 treatments.

During all cycles the participant will have a physical exam and tumor assessment.

The investigators would like to keep track of the participant's medical condition for the next five years after the final dose of study drug. The investigators would like to do this by regular visits every 6 months for 3 years after completion of study treatment, and then once a year for the next two years. The investigators may ask for additional follow-up by phone after completion of these visits.

Participants who undergo lumpectomy (breast conserving surgery) need to receive breast radiation therapy to participate in this study. Participants who have undergone a mastectomy may receive chest wall and lymph node radiation (as determined by discussion with their physician). Radiation Therapy will begin after the conclusion of all study paclitaxel doses, and after 12 weeks fo the study drug T-DM1.


Breast Cancer, Breast Neoplasms, Paclitaxel, Maytansine, Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine, Trastuzumab, Trastuzumab emtansine, Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), Paclitaxel + Trastuzumab


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • HER2-positive Stage I histologically confirmed invasive carcinoma of the breast
  • ER/PR determination is required
  • HER2 positive, confirmed by central testing: IHC 3+, FISH HER2/CEP17 <2.0 with an average HER2 copy number >/=6.0, or FISH HER2/CEP17 >/= 2.0
  • Bilateral breast cancers that individually meet eligibility criteria are allowed
  • Subjects with multifocal or multicentric disease are eligible as long as each tumor individually meets eligibility criteria
  • Subjects with a history of ipsilateral DCIS are eligible if they were treated with wide-excision alone, without radiation therapy; Patients with a history of contralateral DCIS are not eligible.
  • Should have tumor tissue available and a tissue block of sufficient size to make 15 slides, which must be sent to a DFCI site for testing
  • Less than or equal to 90 days since most recent breast surgery for this breast cancer
  • All tumor should be removed by either a modified radical mastectomy or a segmental mastectomy (lumpectomy) with either a sentinel node biopsy or axillary dissection
  • All margins should be clear of invasive cancer or DCIS
  • May have received up to 4 weeks of tamoxifen therapy or other hormonal therapy, for adjuvant therapy for this cancer
  • Prior oophorectomy for cancer prevention is allowed
  • Subjects who have undergone partial breast radiation (duration </= 7 days) prior to registration are eligible. Partial breast radiation must be completed prior to 2 weeks before starting protocol therapy.
  • Must have discontinued any investigational drug at least 2 weeks prior to participation
  • Willing to use one highly effective from of nonhormonal contraception or two effective forms of nonhormonal contraception while on study and for 7 months after end of study treatment
  • Subjects undergoing lumpectomy must have no contraindications to radiation therapy

You CAN'T join if...

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Use of potent CYP3A4 inhibitors during the study treatment period
  • Excessive alcohol intake (more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day)
  • Locally advanced tumors at diagnosis
  • History of previous invasive breast cancer
  • History of prior chemotherapy in the past 5 years
  • History of prior trastuzumab or prior paclitaxel therapy
  • Active, unresolved infection
  • Active liver disease
  • History of a different malignancy except for the following: disease free for at least 5 years and at low risk for recurrence; cervical cancer in situ, basal or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin
  • Active cardiac disease


  • UCSF
    San Francisco California 94115 United States
  • Mountain States Tumor Institute
    Twin Falls Idaho 83301 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Hope Rugo
    Dr. Hope Rugo is a medical oncologist and hematologist specializing in breast cancer research and treatment. A Clinical Professor of Medicine, Dr. Rugo joined the Breast Care Center in 1999 after a decade of experience at UCSF in malignant hematology and bone marrow transplantation for a variety of diseases, including breast cancer.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Phase 2 research study
Study Type
About 512 people participating
Last Updated