A study to understand more about why chemotherapy to treat lung cancer can stop working (CHEMORES)

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer





This study will look for changes in blood and tissue samples before and after treatment for lung cancer, to try to find out how cancer cells stop themselves being harmed by treatment.

Doctors may use surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or another type of drug that targets lung cancer to treat this disease. Your treatment will depend on your type and stage of lung cancer. If you have non small cell lung cancer, you may have a combination of these. If you have small cell lung cancer, you would usually have chemotherapy.

We know from research that cancer cells can become 'resistant’ to treatment. In lung cancer for example, cancer cells can sometimes reduce the concentration of the drug inside them, and repair DNA damage. And, develop changes in the genes in cancer cells that prevent the treatment from working.

Understanding why resistance happens will help develop improved treatment for lung cancer. This study is looking at genes and proteins in cancer cells in the blood and cancer tissue of people having lung cancer treatment such as chemotherapy containing platinum drugs Open a glossary item. The main aim of this study is to find out why lung cancer often becomes resistant to treatment.

You will not get any direct benefit from taking part in this study, and it will not change your treatment in any way. But the results of the study will be used to help people with cancer in the future.

Who can enter

You can enter this study if you

  • Have small cell lung cancer, or non small cell lung cancer that is stage 3 or 4
  • Are due to have chemotherapy containing a platinum drug Open a glossary item, or another type of drug that targets lung cancer such as erlotinib, gefitinib or crizotinib
  • Have had a small sample of cancer tissue (a biopsy) removed from your lung, or you would be willing to have some tissue removed if appropriate
  • Are well enough to take part

You cannot enter this study if you

  • Are having treatment as part of a clinical trial (if your trial team are happy for you to also take part in this study, you can still take part)
  • Are due to start a course of combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiation Open a glossary item)

Trial design

This study will recruit up to 1,200 people. Everyone will give a blood sample (between 2 and 4 teaspoons) and permission for the study team to

  • Use a sample of stored tissue taken from a previous biopsy
  • Take information from your hospital notes, including about your disease and treatment
  • Send the samples to be studied by other member of the research team in Europe

You do not have to join the next part of the study if you don’t want to. If you would like to, you will

  • Give another 4 teaspoons of blood at different points throughout your treatment
  • Give one or more samples of cancer tissue, (biopsy) or fluid from your cancer tissue (fine needle aspirate) if your cancer can be easily reached to do this

The study team will look at these samples to find out how genes and proteins in cancer tissue change after chemotherapy. They will then check these findings against results from the stored samples and medical information.

Throughout the study you will remain under the care of your regular cancer specialist.

Hospital visits

Where possible, you will give your study blood samples at the same time as your routine blood samples.

If you give any extra biopsies or fine needle aspirates, you may need to make extra hospitals visits to the Christie Hospital in Manchester. The samples would be taken before, during treatment and if your cancer comes back. The study team will tell you about any hospital visits you have to make.

Side effects

You may have a small bruise where you gave your blood sample.

If you have biopsies for the study, the side effects will depend on the type of biopsy you have. You may have

  • Pain or discomfort at the biopsy site (you will have local anaesthetic to help reduce this)
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Sore throat (if you have a biopsy taken during a bronchoscopy)



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 Fiona Blackhall

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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