Erlotinib is a drug approved for treating advanced lung and pancreatic cancers. It works by blocking a protein called the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which tells cancer cells to grow. Some gliomas contain an altered form of EGFR called variant number 3 (abbreviated EGFR variant III or EGFRvIII).
Research suggests that erlotinib is particularly effective at stopping EGFRvIII, and that high doses of erlotinib taken once per week may be more effective than low doses taken once daily. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of weekly high-dose erlotinib in patients with high-grade gliomas with an EGFR variant III mutation that persist or recur despite prior therapy.