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MARVEL: Marker Validation of Erlotinib in Lung Cancer- A Phase III Biomarker Validation Study of Second-line Therapy in Patients With Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Randomized to Pemetrex

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Trial Conditions
  • Recurrent Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Recurrent Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma
  • Stage IIIA Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Stage IIIB Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Stage IV Non-small Cell Lung Cancer
What is the purpose of this trial?

This randomized phase III trial studies pemetrexed disodium to see how well it works compared with erlotinib hydrochloride as second-line therapy in treating patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Pemetrexed disodium and erlotinib hydrochloride may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth. It is not yet known whether pemetrexed disodium is more effective than erlotinib hydrochloride in treating advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Date & Status

Active, not recruiting

Who can Participate?


18 and older



Inclusion Criteria:

- Documented recurrence or disease progression of NSCLC

- NSCLC must be confirmed by pathologic examination, either on initial diagnosis
or disease recurrence/progression; mixed histology allowed if all components
consistent with NSCLC

- Measurable disease, defined as at least one lesion whose longest diameter can be
accurately measured as >= 2.0 cm by conventional techniques or as >= 1.0 cm by spiral
computed tomography (CT); if spiral CT is used, it must be used for both pre- and
post- treatment tumor assessments

- Prior radiation therapy is permitted as long as:

- Recovered from the toxic effects of radiation treatment before study entry,
except for alopecia

- =< 25% of bone marrow radiated

- Presence of measurable disease whether in-field disease progression/recurrence
or disease outside the treatment fields of radiation port

- Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >= 1,500 Upper Limit (uL)

- Platelet (PLT) >= 100,000 uL

- Hemoglobin (Hgb) >= 10 g/dL

- Total bilirubin: within normal institutional limits (WNL) OR direct bilirubin =<
upper limit of normal (ULN)

- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) =< 2.5 x ULN

- International normalized ratio (INR) =< 1.5

- Calculated creatinine clearance >= 45 mL/min using the Cockcroft-Gault formula

- Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) 0, 1, or 2

- Negative pregnancy test done =< 7 days prior to pre-registration, for women of
childbearing potential only

- Ability to provide informed consent

- Life expectancy >= 12 weeks

- Tissue available and willing to submit tissue for central pathology review and EGFR
evaluation; performed on original diagnostic/recurrent tissue (preferably
paraffin-embedded tissue blocks); if institution unable to release tissue blocks,
willing to submit 25 unstained slides (15 sections cut at 5 microns mounted on
charged slides and 10 sections cut at 10 microns mounted on uncharged slides)

- Must be previously treated for advanced disease with only 1 chemotherapy regimen
which must contain cytotoxic agent(s); adjuvant/neoadjuvant treatment with cytotoxic
agent(s) administered < 12 months (from date chemotherapy was started) prior to
pre-registration will be considered as one prior treatment; NOTE:
Adjuvant/neoadjuvant treatment administered >= 12 months, use of targeted agents such
as monoclonal antibodies prior to pre-registration will NOT be counted as one prior
treatment; patient could have had adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy >= 12 months and
1 systemic chemotherapy regimen for metastatic or recurrent disease

- Able to take folic acid, vitamin B12 supplementation, and dexamethasone

- Able to permanently discontinue aspirin dose of >= 1.3 grams/day >= 10 days before
and after pemetrexed treatment

- Fertile patients must use effective contraception

- Able to take folic acid, vitamin B_12 supplementation, and dexamethasone

- Stable brain metastasis that have been treated with either whole brain radiation
therapy or gamma knife surgery and are off steroid treatment for > 14 days prior to
pre-registration, if applicable

- Willingness to return to enrolling institution for treatment and follow-up

Exclusion Criteria:

- Any of the following:

- Pregnant women

- Nursing women

- Men or women of childbearing potential who are unwilling to employ adequate

- Any clinically significant infection, at the treating physician's discretion

- Known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive patients

- Impairment of gastrointestinal (GI) function, inability to swallow pills in the
absence of a feeding tube, or GI disease that may significantly alter absorption of
oral medications (e.g. ulcerative disease, uncontrolled nausea and vomiting,
malabsorption syndromes, bowel obstruction, etc)

- Serious condition that, in the opinion of the investigator, would compromise the
patient's ability to complete the study or increase the risk for serious adverse

- Any of the following prior therapies:

- Prior radiation to > 25% of bone marrow

- EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors

- Pemetrexed

- Chemotherapy =< 3 weeks prior to pre-registration

- Mitomycin C/nitrosoureas =< 6 weeks prior to pre-registration

- Immunotherapy =< 2 weeks prior to pre-registration

- Biologic therapy =< 2 weeks prior to pre-registration

- Gene therapy =< 2 weeks prior to pre-registration

- Full field radiation therapy =< 4 weeks prior to pre-registration

- Limited field radiation therapy =< 2 weeks prior to pre-registration

- Major surgery (i.e., laparotomy), open biopsy, or significant traumatic injury
=< 4 weeks prior to pre-registration or anticipation of need for major surgical
procedure during the course of the study; minor surgery =< 2 weeks prior to
pre-registration; insertion of a vascular access device is not considered major
or minor surgery in this regard

- Other chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, radiotherapy, or any ancillary
therapy considered investigational (utilized for a non-Food and Drug Administration
[FDA]-approved indication and in the context of a research investigation) =< 4 weeks
prior to pre-registration

- Steroid therapy for brain metastasis =< 14 days prior to pre-registration

- Symptomatic serosal effusion (>= Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events
(CTCAE) v3.0 grade 2 dyspnea) that is not amenable to drainage prior to

- Other invasive solid or hematologic malignancy; exceptions: prior malignancy was
diagnosed and definitively treated >= 5 years previously with no subsequent evidence
of recurrence; patients with a history of low-grade (Gleason score =< 6) localized
prostate cancer will be eligible even if diagnosed < 3 years prior to
pre-registration; these patients may continue on medications concomitantly to
maintain their disease remission as necessary; patients with carcinoma in situ,
regardless of organ involvement, or non-melanoma cutaneous carcinomas are eligible if
these were definitively treated >= 3 years previously with no subsequent evidence of
recurrence; Note: patients with breast cancer that was definitively treated > 5 years
earlier but continue to receive aromatase inhibitors are NOT eligible

- Only non-measurable disease, defined as all other lesions, including small lesions
whose longest diameter measures < 2 cm with conventional techniques or < 1.0 cm with
spiral CT, and truly non-measurable lesions, which include the following as per
Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria dated June 1999:

- Bone lesions

- Leptomeningeal disease

- Ascites

- Pleural/pericardial effusion

- Inflammatory breast disease

- Lymphangitis cutis/pulmonis

- Abdominal masses that are not confirmed and followed by imaging techniques

- Cystic lesions

- Single disease site in prior radiation field

- Any of the following concurrent severe and/or uncontrolled medical conditions:

- Angina pectoris

- History of congestive heart failure =< 3 months prior to pre-registration,
unless ejection fraction > 40%

- Myocardial infarction =< 6 months prior to pre-registration

- Cardiac arrhythmia

- Diabetes mellitus

- Hypertension

- Any other severe underlying diseases which are, in the judgment of the
investigator, inappropriate for entry into this study

- Respiratory symptoms > CTCAE grade 1

Gender: Both
Steward Physician(s)
  • Alex Adjei
  • St. Elizabeth's Medical Center - Active, not recruiting
Trial Interventions
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • Pemetrexed Disodium
Physician Researcher

Investigator Name:

  • Alex Adjei

Other Information

Sponsor: National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Phase: Phase 3
Trial ID: NCT00738881
Volunteers:  Not Accepting Healthy Volunteers

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