A trial looking at combretastatin and chemotherapy for people with advanced solid tumours (CA4P - UKCTC-207)

Cancer type:

All cancer types




Phase 1

This trial was looking at chemotherapy in combination with a new drug called combretastatin for advanced solid tumours. A solid tumour is any cancer that is not lymphoma or leukaemia.

Doctors treat most cancers with standard treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy. But sometimes cancer comes back after initial treatment. If that happens, the cancer is usually more difficult to treat.

Doctors hoped that a new drug called combretastatin (CA4P), given with chemotherapy, would be useful for treating solid tumours that were no longer responding to standard treatment.

We knew from laboratory research that CA4P damaged the blood supply to cancer cells. The aim of this trial was to find out

  • The best doses of CA4P to give with the chemotherapy drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel
  • How well these drugs worked together
  • The side effects of having these drugs together


Summary of results

The researchers found that cancers responded to CA4P given with either carboplatin or paclitaxel, or both.

When the trial team presented some early results at a cancer conference in 2005, the trial had recruited 41 people.

The first 34 people had CA4P with either carboplatin or paclitaxel. The first few people had a very low dose. As they didn’t have too many side effects, the next few people had a higher dose, and so on. The researchers then looked at increasing the dose of CA4P even more for 7 people having both the chemotherapy drugs. They found a higher dose did not cause too many bad side effects when these people had it with both chemotherapy drugs.

The side effects that people did have included tiredness, sickness and headache. Some people also had changes in their blood pressure for a short time after treatment.

The trial team had results for 25 people

  • In 2 people, the cancer had got smaller – researchers call this partial response Open a glossary item
  • In 15 people, the cancer had stayed the same size – researchers call this stable disease Open a glossary item
  • In 8 people, the cancer had continued to grow

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) but may not have been 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

Professor Gordon Rustin

Supported by


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Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle - 401

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

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

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“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

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