New Haven, Connecticut 06520

  • Squamous Cell Cancers of the Head and Neck


This is a single arm Phase II study for patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, who are previously treated with a platinum based regimen or with an immune checkpoint inhibitor. The primary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of the combination of cetuximab and afatinib.

Study summary:

This study will be a multicenter, single-arm, open-label Phase II trial. Patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, who are previously treated with a platinum based regimen or with immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy or both, will be eligible for participation on the study. After a baseline evaluation and biopsy (where feasible), they will be treated with weekly/bi-weekly intravenous cetuximab and daily oral afatinib. Biopsy will be repeated where feasible after 4 weeks (window of +1 week) on therapy and again at disease progression or end of treatment. Treatment will continue until disease progression or development of Grade 3 or higher drug related toxicities that fail to resolve to Grade 2 despite appropriate supportive care.


Inclusion Criteria: - Histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that is metastatic, recurrent or locally advanced and not treatable with curative intent. - Previous treatment with a platinum-based regimen or immune checkpoint inhibitor or both.2-week washout period prior to treatment start will be required. - Patients who have experienced progression of disease within 6 months following completion of a platinum-based chemoradiation in the definitive or adjuvant setting will be permitted. - Prior cetuximab permitted if it was given as part of multi-modality therapy for initial treatment of locally advanced disease. - Measurable disease based on RECIST v 1.1. Baseline measurements and evaluations must be obtained within 4 weeks of enrollment. Disease in previously irradiated sites is considered measurable if there has been unequivocal disease progression or biopsy-proven residual carcinoma following radiation therapy. - ECOG performance status ≤2 - Adequate organ function, defined as all of the following: - Hemoglobin ≥ 8 g/dl. - Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥1000 / mm3. - Platelet count ≥75,000 / mm3. - Estimated creatinine clearance > 45ml / min. - Total Bilirubin ≤ 1.5 times upper limit of (institutional/central) normal (Patients with Gilbert's syndrome total bilirubin must be ≤4 times institutional upper limit of normal). - Aspartate amino transferase (AST) or alanine amino transferase (ALT) ≤ three times the upper limit of (institutional/central) normal (ULN) (if related to liver metastases ≤ five times ULN). - Ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent that is consistent with ICH-GCP guidelines. - Negative urine or serum pregnancy test for women of childbearing potential Exclusion Criteria: - Prior erlotinib, gefitinib or lapatinib therapy or prior exposure to any investigational EGFR or panErbB reversible or irreversible inhibitor or any prior panitumumab or investigational EGFR-directed monoclonal antibody. - Radiotherapy within 2 weeks prior to enrollment. Palliative radiation to target organs may be allowed up to 2 weeks prior to enrollment, as long as there are other target lesions that can be monitored for response to study treatment. - Known hypersensitivity to afatinib or its excipients - Women of child-bearing potential (WOCBP) and men who are able to father a child, unwilling to be abstinent or use highly effective methods of birth control prior to study entry, for the duration of study participation and for at least 4 weeks after treatment has ended. - Women who are pregnant, nursing, or who plan to become pregnant while in the trial. - Any history of or concomitant condition that, in the opinion of the Investigator, would compromise the patient's ability to comply with the study or interfere with the evaluation of the efficacy and safety of the test drug. - Concomitant malignancies at other sites that are being actively treated with systemic therapy - Requiring treatment with any of the prohibited concomitant medications that cannot be stopped for the duration of trial participation. - Clinically significant interstitial lung disease. - Known history of untreated viral hepatitis or HIV. - Patients with parenchymal brain metastases are not eligible, unless they have completed local therapy - Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Aarti Bhatia, MD, MPH
Yale University

Alexander Hoslet, CCRP
Phone: 203-785-5573

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

New Haven, Connecticut 06520
United States

Clinical Trials Office
Phone: 203-785-5702

Site Status: Recruiting

Data Source:

Date Processed: September 16, 2021

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