Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at ABR-217620 for advanced lung, pancreatic and kidney cancer
Doctors usually treat cancer with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. But sometimes it can start to grow again or spread to another part of the body. If this happens it is often more difficult to treat.
Some types of cancer cells have a protein called 5T4 on the surface. Researchers think that this protein may be involved when cancer cells spread (metastasise) to another part of the body.
ABR-217620 (naptumomab estafenatox) is a type of biological therapy. It is a combination of two proteins. The theory is that one protein attaches to cancer cells that have 5T4 on their surface. And the other protein activates the immune system so that it recognises and kills these cancer cells.
The aims of the trial were to find out
- The best dose of ABR-217620 to give
- What the side effects are
- What happens to ABR-217620 in the body
- How well ABR-217620 works for advanced cancer
Summary of results
The research team found that ABR-217620 was safe to use and activated the immune system.
This phase 1 trial recruited 39 people with advanced cancer. Of these,
- 20 had non small cell lung cancer (NCSLC)
- 8 had pancreatic cancer
- 11 had a type of kidney cancer called renal cell cancer
Everyone taking part had ABR-217620 once a day for 5 days. Each 5 days is one cycle of treatment. 32 people taking part had 1 cycle, 6 people had 2 cycles and 1 person had 3 cycles.
The first few people taking part had the lowest dose. The next few people had a higher dose. And so on until the trial team found the best dose to give. This type of trial is called a dose escalation trial.
The research team looked at what effect ABR-217620 had on the immune system. They found that it activated the immune system to produce more immune cells called T cells and more proteins called cytokines.
They also looked at how well ABR-217620 worked as a cancer treatment. It is difficult to draw any firm conclusions about this from a small phase 1 trial, but they found that the cancer had stopped growing in 14 people - 7 who had lung cancer and 7 who had kidney cancer. They were not able to assess the cancer for everyone taking part, but it had continued to grow in some of the other 25 people.
ABR-217620 did have some side effects but they were usually mild. The most common side effects were
- Fever and chills
- Feeling or being sick
- A drop in blood pressure (hypotension)
The research team concluded that ABR-217620 was safe to use, that it stimulated the immune system and that it should be looked at in other, larger clinical trials.
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 (
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 Robert Hawkins
Dr Roger B Cohen
Active Biotech AB
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)