Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial of decitabine and carboplatin for advanced solid tumour
This trial was looking at a combination of decitabine and carboplatin for advanced solid tumours. A solid tumour is any cancer apart from leukaemia or lymphoma. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
For most cancers, doctors use standard treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and biological therapy. But sometimes cancer comes back after treatment. If this happens, it is usually more difficult to treat.
This trial was looking at a combination of 2 chemotherapy drugs. One was carboplatin and the other was a new drug called decitabine. Doctors hoped that this combination would be useful for treating solid tumours that were no longer responding to standard treatment.
The aim of the trial was to find the best doses of decitabine and carboplatin to have at the same time.
Summary of results
The researchers found doses of decitabine and carboplatin that can be given at the same time without causing bad side effects.
The trial recruited 35 people who had advanced cancer and had already had other standard treatments. Everybody taking part had both carboplatin and decitabine.
The trial was in 2 parts. In the first part of the trial, people had a low dose of carboplatin. The first few people also had a low dose of decitabine. As they didn’t have any serious side effects, the next few people had a higher dose of decitabine and so on. At least 3 people safely had each dose before the dose was increased.
In the second part of the trial, the dose of carboplatin was higher. Once again, a few people had a low dose of decitabine. If they didn’t have any bad side effects, the next few had a higher dose and so on.
In this way, the researchers found the highest doses of both drugs that could be used together, without causing too many side effects. The most common side effect that people did have was fatigue.
The trial team suggested that these doses should be used if the combination of decitabine and carboplatin is studied in further trials.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (
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.
Professor Ian Judson
Cancer Research UK (Centre for Drug Development)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUKD/02/023.