A trial looking at motesanib and chemotherapy for advanced non small cell lung cancer

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer




Phase 3

This trial was looking at a drug called motesanib with paclitaxel and carboplatin for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The people taking part had NSCLC that had spread to another part of the body (advanced cancer) and was either an adenocarcinoma or large cell carcinoma type.

If you have advanced NSCLC you may have chemotherapy to control the growth of your cancer, and to relieve symptoms. Your doctor may recommend you have drugs called paclitaxel and carboplatin, which is a standard treatment Open a glossary item. But unfortunately this does not work for everyone and researchers are always looking for ways to improve treatment.  

Motesanib is a type of biological therapy that aims to block the growth of blood vessels in cancers. When a cancer reaches a certain size, it needs to grow blood vessels to get oxygen and food so that it can continue to grow.

Doctors wanted to find out if motesanib and chemotherapy was better than chemotherapy alone for advanced NSCLC.

The aims of this trial were to

  • See if people having chemotherapy and motesanib lived longer than people having chemotherapy and a dummy tablet (placebo Open a glossary item)
  • See which treatment was better at controlling the cancer
  • Find out more about the side effects of having motesanib with chemotherapy.

Summary of results

The trial team found that motesanib with carboplatin and paclitaxel didn’t help people with advanced non small cell lung cancer live longer.

This was a phase 3 trial. It recruited 1,090 people. It was a randomised trial. The people taking part were put into treatment groups. Neither they nor their doctor could choose which group they were in.

Half the people had carboplatin, paclitaxel and motesanib. The other half had carboplatin, paclitaxel and a dummy drug.

The researchers found that the average overall length of time that people lived after treatment was

  • 13 months for those who had chemotherapy and motesanib
  • 11 months for those who had chemotherapy and the dummy drug

Although there is a small difference between the 2 groups, this could have happened by chance (the results were not statistically significant Open a glossary item).

Between the 2 groups there was little difference in the time it took for the cancer to start getting worse.

The most common side effects of chemotherapy and motesanib were

The trial team concluded that adding motesanib to chemotherapy didn’t help people with NSCLC to live significantly longer.

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

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 Charles Brigden

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 2449

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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