"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A study looking at a possible new treatment for a type of eye cancer called uveal melanoma (SUAVE)
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.
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.
Dr Ernie Marshall
Cancer Research UK
Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Liverpool Cancer Trials Unit
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/09/017.