A trial of exemestane with or without dasatinib for advanced breast cancer after treatment with anastrozole or letrozole (CA180261)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Breast cancer




Phase 2

This trial is looking at dasatinib and exemestane for people with advanced breast cancer that is oestrogen receptor positive. The trial is looking at cancer that has come back or started to grow again after treatment with a type of hormone therapy called a non steroidal aromatase inhibitor.

Doctors treat oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer with hormone therapy. They often use drugs such as anastrozole or letrozole which are called non steroidal aromatase inhibitors. If breast cancer comes back or starts to grow again after this type of treatment, you may have another type of aromatase inhibitor called exemestane which is a steroidal aromatase inhibitor.

Dasatinib is a type of biological therapy called a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). It works by blocking chemical messengers called tyrosine kinases. Blocking these can stop cancer cells growing.

The aim of this study is to see if exemestane and dasatinib is better than exemestane alone for advanced oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer that has come back or started growing again after treatment with other aromatase inhibitors. And to learn more about the side effects.

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if

  • You have breast cancer that has spread locally or to another part of the body and is hormone receptor positive
  • The cancer has come back despite having treatment with a non steroidal aromatase inhibitor such as anastrozole or letrozole
  • There is a sample of tissue available from when you had surgery for breast cancer
  • You have at least one area of cancer that can be seen on a CT, MRI, or other appropriate scan
  • You have taken a non steroidal aromatase inhibitor for at least 12 months after surgery or radiotherapy, or at least 4 months as treatment for advanced breast cancer
  • You are a woman and are either post menopausal, have had a hysterectomy or sterilisation Open a glossary item, or are taking a drug to switch off your oestrogen production (LHRH blocker) and have a negative pregnancy test, or you are a man with breast cancer
  • You have recovered from the side effects of any other cancer treatment apart from hair loss
  • You are well enough to take part in the trial (performance status 0 or 1)
  • You have satisfactory blood test results
  • You are able to swallow tablets
  • You are willing to use reliable contraception during the trial and for at least 12 weeks afterwards if there is any chance you or your partner could become pregnant
  • You are at least 18 years old

You cannot enter this trial if you

  • Have cancer that has spread to the brain or spinal cord unless it was treated at least 8 weeks ago, and is no longer growing or causing symptoms
  • Have had a build up of fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion Open a glossary item) or around the heart (pericardial effusion Open a glossary item), or in the abdomen (ascites Open a glossary item) in the last 6 months
  • Have had chemotherapy or biological therapy for advanced breast cancer within the last 6 months
  • Have had targeted therapy with a drug such as lapatinib within the last 6 months unless in combination with a non steroidal aromatase inhibitor
  • Have had any other type of cancer treatment, such as radiotherapy or hormone therapy in the last 2 weeks
  • Have already had exemestane, dasatinib or other drugs that work in a similar way to dasatinib
  • Have had any other cancer that was treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the last 3 years
  • Take drugs that can affect the electrical activity in your heart – your doctor can advise you about this and it is important that you don’t stop taking any medication before talking to your doctor
  • Take drugs that block an enzyme called CYP3A4 (you can check this with your doctor)
  • Take hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Have any medical condition that can cause bleeding problems (the trial doctors can advise you about this)
  • Have had a heart attack in the last 6 months or have any other serious medical condition
  • Are very sensitive or allergic to a sugar found in milk called lactose (lactose intolerant) - you can check this with your doctor
  • Are pregnant or breast feeding

Trial design

This is an international trial. It will recruit about 156 people in different countries. There will be about 12 people taking part in the UK. It is a randomised trial. The people taking part will be put into one of 2 treatment groups by computer. Neither you nor your doctor can decide which group you are in. And neither you nor your doctor will know which group you are in. This is called a double blind trial.

  • People in group 1 have exemestane and dasatinib
  • People in group 2 have exemestane and a dummy drug (placebo)

Both drugs are tablets that you take at home each day. As long as you don’t have bad side effects, you can carry on having the trial treatment for as long as it helps you.

Hospital visits

You will see the trial doctors and have some tests before you start treatment. The tests include

  • Physical examination
  • Heart trace (ECG Open a glossary item)
  • Echocardiogram Open a glossary item
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan, MRI scan or bone scan
  • Pregnancy test (if you are a woman who could possibly become pregnant)
  • Urine test and pain questionnaire if you have breast cancer that has spread to your bones

You go to hospital on the first day of treatment, then after 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 8 weeks. After that you go every 8 weeks. Each visit will last between 1 and 4 hours.

You have a CT or MRI scan every 8 weeks. If you have breast cancer that has spread to your bones, you will also have a bone scan every 3 or 4 months.

When you finish treatment, you go back to see the trial doctor a month later and you may need to have another scan at this time.

If you leave the trial for any reason other than your breast cancer getting worse, the trial team will contact you every 2 months to see how you are. And you will have scans every 8 weeks until your cancer starts to grow again.

Side effects

The side effects of dasatinib include

The side effects of exemestane include

  • Tiredness
  • Sickness
  • Hot flushes Open a glossary item and sweats

There is more information about the side effects of dasatinib and exemestane on CancerHelp UK.

So far, most trials looking at dasatinib have been for people who have leukaemia. It is possible that some of the side effects may be less for people who have a solid tumour such as breast cancer. But the combination of dasatinib and exemestane has not been studied before. So it is also possible that some side effects, such as muscle or bone pain, diarrhoea, sickness, rash or headache could be worse when you have these 2 drugs together.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Christopher Poole

Supported by

Bristol-Myers Squibb
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 4553

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Deborah wanted to help other breast cancer patients in the future

A picture of Deborah

“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think