Chemotherapy plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) are standard treatments for breast cancer. There
are circumstances where these treatments are given prior to surgery to reduce the size of
the cancer and imptove the surgical outcome. In this trial, an oral drug called "vorinostat"
will be given in combination with chemotherapy and trastuzumab. Vorinostat is a histone
deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for
the treatment of a rare type of cancer involving the skin (cutaneous T cell lymphoma), but
not for breast cancer. HDAC inhibitors work by unsilencing tumor suppressor genes and other
genes in the cancer cells that are repressed; when the genes are turned back on by the drug,
it leads to death of the cancer cells. HDAC inhibitors such as vorinostat have been shown
to enhance the effects of chemotherapy and trastuzumab in experimental systems. The purpose
of this trial is to determine the optimal dose of vorinostat to use in combination with
standard chemotherapy plus trastuzumab, and to determine whether vorinostat enhances the
effectiveness of standard chemotherapy plus trastuzumab.
- Histologically or cytologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the breast associated
with the following stages: IIB, IIIA, IIIB or IIIC.
- Tumor must be Her2/neu positive
- No prior chemotherapy, radiation or definitive therapeutic surgery
- May not be receiving any other investigational agents
- Uncontrolled intercurrent illness