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



A phase 2 non-randomized study to assess the safety and efficacy of the combination of tucatinib and trastuzumab with capecitabine for the treatment of leptomeningeal metastases in HER2-neu positive breast cancer.

Official Title

A Phase II Non-randomized Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of the Combination of Tucatinib and Trastuzumab and Capecitabine for Treatment of Leptomeningeal Metastases in HER2 Positive Breast Cancer


The purpose of this study is to evaluate a new treatment for patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer (MBC) with leptomeningeal disease (LMD). This is a rare and fast-growing form of cancer. Leptomeningeal disease refers to the seeding of tumor cells to the leptomeninges and dissemination in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Currently, there are is no standard of care treatment for LMD. However, we think the combination therapy will be safe and well-tolerated and may also improve survival. Blood and spinal fluid samples will be collected to evaluate the effects on the body and the cancer, which will help provide greater understanding to therapy response in patients.

The study has a two-stage design with the first stage including 15 subjects from up to ten institutions nationwide. If it advances to the second stage based on the number of successes, another 15 subjects will be enrolled.


Metastatic Breast Cancer, Leptomeningeal Disease, HER2+, tucatinib, trastuzumab, capecitabine, Breast Neoplasms, Tucatinib + Trastuzumab + Capecitabine


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Men and women, age ≥18 years at time of consent
  • Histologically proven metastatic infiltrating carcinoma of the breast that is HER2 positive - Immunohistochemistry (IHC) 3+ and/or Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) ratio >2.0, or average HER2 copy number >6.0 signals per cell or per current ASCO-CAP (American Society of Clinical Oncology - College of American Pathologists) or

    NCCN (National Comprehensive Cancer Network) guidelines. (NOTE: HER2 testing may be performed on primary and/or metastatic site; Any estrogen and progesterone [ER/PR] status is allowed.)

  • Evidence of leptomeningeal disease (LMD) as diagnosed by a) presence of malignant cells in CSF (+CSF cytology) and/or b) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) evidence of

    LMD, plus clinical signs and/or symptoms. NOTE: Measurable extra-CNS disease is not required. Note: Patients who have MRI evidence of focal LMD with negative cytology and no symptoms are not eligible for enrollment.

  • Karnofsky Performance Status ≥ 50 or Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) ≤ 3
  • Patient is able and willing to undergo study-required testing including:
    1. Contrast-enhanced MRI Note: If patient has implants in place that are MRI incompatible, these must be removed prior to enrollment.
    2. Placement of an Ommaya reservoir (ventricular access device). Note: This is mandatory for the first 15 patients enrolled onto the protocol (first stage). In the second stage, this is strongly recommended per protocol. If a patient cannot or chooses not to undergo Ommaya placement in the second stage, the patient will be allowed to enroll.
    3. Evaluation by medical oncologist at baseline and at every cycle (required)
    4. Evaluation by neurologist/neuro-oncologist at baseline and at every cycle (strongly recommended); if this is not possible at a site, a medical oncologist may per perform the protocol specified evaluations at each visit.
  • Patients who are on steroids due to CNS disease or LMD diagnosis should be on a stable dose for at least 5 days prior to registration.
  • Prior treatment allowances are as follows:
    1. >14 days since last dose of any previous endocrine therapy, chemotherapy, trastuzumab or other antibody-based therapy. NOTE: If patients have been previously receiving trastuzumab on a weekly basis (at a dose of 2mg/kg), only a 7 day washout will be required.
    2. >14 days or five half-lives since previous treatment with any experimental agent, whichever is greater
    3. Cumulative dose of doxorubicin >360 mg/m2 or previous treatment with another anthracycline with cumulative dose equivalent to >360 mg/m2 doxorubicin is not allowed.
    4. Patients must not have received any therapy specifically directed at LMD, including prior systemic or intrathecal therapy for LMD.
    5. Radiotherapy:
      • Patients must not have received radiotherapy to the neuroaxis following diagnosis of LMD for the purpose of treating LMD, and may not receive

        - radiotherapy to the neuroaxis concurrently with the study drug;

      • Patients must not have received whole brain radiotherapy for parenchymal metastases within the last 2 weeks (14 days) or focal CNS radiotherapy within 1 week (7 days) prior to first dose of study drug. Note: Radiation for the purpose of palliation in the setting of a painful bone or dural metastasis can be allowed at the discretion of the treating physicians.
  • All toxicity related to prior cancer therapies must have resolved to ≤ Grade 1, with the following exceptions: alopecia; neuropathy, which must have resolved to ≤ Grade 2; and CHF, which must have been ≤ Grade 1 in severity at the time of occurrence, and must have resolved completely. Must be without significant systemic illness (e.g. infection unresponsive to treatment after 7 days)
  • Adequate hematologic, liver, and renal function, as follows:
    1. Hemoglobin ≥ 9 g/dL
    2. ANC ≥ 1000 cells/μL
    3. Platelets ≥ 100,000/μ
    4. Total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 X upper limit of normal (ULN), unless a known history of Gilbert's disease (≤ 3 X ULN)
    5. Transaminases (AST/SGOT and ALT/SGPT) ≤ 2.5X ULN (< 5 X ULN if liver metastases are present)
    6. International normalized ratio (INR) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) ≤ 1.5 X ULN
    7. Creatinine clearance (CrCL) ≥ 50 mL/min
  • Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) must be within institutional limits of normal as assessed by ECHO or MUGA documented within 4 weeks prior to enrollment on the study.
  • Able to understand the study requirements and document informed consent indicating his/her awareness of the investigational nature and the risks of this study.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Medical, social, or psychosocial factors that, in the opinion of the Investigator, could impact safety or compliance with study procedures.
  • Patient is pregnant or is breastfeeding. Note: If female and of child-bearing potential (females who are not surgically sterile or who have had a period in the last 12 months), has negative pregnancy test within 21 days prior to treatment. If a sexually active male or a sexually active female of child- bearing potential, agrees to use dual (two concurrent) forms of medically accepted contraception from the time of consent until 6 months after the last dose.
  • History of allergic reactions to compounds of similar chemical or biological composition to capecitabine (Group A only), trastuzumab or tucatinib, except for a history of Grade 1 or Grade 2 infusion related reaction to trastuzumab, that has been successfully managed.
  • Known to be HIV positive, or a carrier for Hepatitis B and/or Hepatitis C (whether active disease or not)
  • Known liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, or sclerosing cholangitis
  • Inability to swallow pills or any significant gastrointestinal diseases, which would preclude adequate absorption of oral medications
  • Use of a strong CYP2C8/CYP3A4 inducer or inhibitor within three elimination half-lives of the inducer or inhibitor prior to the start of study treatment.
  • Known impaired cardiac function or clinically significant cardiac disease such as ventricular arrhythmia requiring therapy or congestive heart failure. Note: Patients with hypertension must have controlled disease defined as systolic blood pressure >150 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure >100 mmHg on antihypertensive medications.
  • Myocardial infarction or unstable angina within 6 months prior to the first dose of study drug.
  • Patient with known dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Previous treatment with tucatinib
  • Previous treatment with capecitabine within 12 months prior to study registration
  • Prior history of other cancer (except non melanoma skin, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) with evidence of disease within the last 5 years.


  • UCSF-Mission Bay
    San Francisco California 94158 United States
  • University of Washington Medical Center-Montlake
    Seattle Washington 98109 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Michelle Melisko
    Dr. Michelle E. Melisko is a cancer specialist with expertise in breast cancer treatment and research. She is interested in testing new chemotherapy combinations, biological therapies and immunotherapies for breast cancer, with a particular focus on treatment of cancer that has spread to the brain.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Phase 2 research study
Study Type
About 17 people participating
Last Updated