A study looking at a possible new treatment for a type of eye cancer called uveal melanoma (SUAVE)

Cancer type:

Eye cancer
Head and neck cancers




Phase 2

This study was looking to see how well the drug sunitinib (Sutent) worked to treat uveal melanoma. The uvea is the middle tissue layer of the eyeball. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.

Doctors usually treat uveal melanoma a type of eye cancer with radiotherapy or surgery. But if this cancer spreads, it is more difficult to treat. Doctors usually treat uveal melanoma that has spread with a chemotherapy called dacarbazine.

But doctors are always looking for new ways to treat uveal melanoma. This study was to see how well a drug called sunitinib worked to treat uveal melanoma. Sunitinib is a type of biological therapy. It is a cancer growth blocker. It stops signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow.  The main aims of this study were to

  • Find out how well sunitinib worked to treat uveal melanoma
  • See how long sunitinib or dacarbazine could help to stop your cancer getting worse

Summary of results

This trial was stopped early by the committee that monitors the safety and design of the trial (the data monitoring committee). This was because early results suggested it was very unlikely the trial would be able to show that sunitinib is better than dacarbazine as a treatment for uveal melanoma.

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

Dr Ernie Marshall

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Liverpool Cancer Trials Unit
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/09/017.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 3851

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

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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