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 looking at Reolysin with chemotherapy for advanced cancer, including head and neck cancer
This trial was looking at a treatment called Reolysin in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy for advanced cancers, including head and neck cancers.
Reolysin is a treatment that uses a
Researchers had found that having Reolysin with a
The aims of this trial were to find out
- How well Reolysin with PC chemotherapy worked for advanced cancer
- More about the side effects of Reolysin and how safe it is
Summary of results
The researchers found that the cancer stayed the same or got smaller in more than half the people with head and neck cancer who had Reolysin and PC chemotherapy.
The trial recruited 31 people with advanced cancer
- 24 had cancer of the head or neck
- 4 had melanoma
- 2 had cancer of the womb or peritoneum
- 1 person had sarcoma
The trial was in 2 parts called phase 1 and phase 2. In the first part of the study (phase 1), the researchers worked out the highest dose of Reolysin that people could safely have alongside chemotherapy. This is called a dose escalation study. In phase 2, everybody had the highest safe dose that had been found in phase 1.
Everybody taking part in both phases of the trial had Reolysin and chemotherapy through a drip into a vein in 3 week cycles of treatment.
The researchers have results for the 24 people with head and neck cancer and the 4 people with melanoma.
In phase 1, the researchers could see that the cancer had got smaller (a
In phase 2, 19 people with head and neck cancer had at least 2 cycles of treatment. The researchers could see that
- 8 people had a partial response
- In 6 people, the cancer didn’t get bigger or smaller (researchers call this stable disease)
- In 5 people, the cancer continued to grow
Of the 4 people who had melanoma
- 1 person had a partial response
- 1 had stable disease
- In the other 2 people, the melanoma continued to grow
The most serious side effects were
- A drop in the number of blood cells which can cause an increased risk of infection, bleeding and bruising problems, tiredness and shortness of breath
- Low blood pressure
The researchers also looked at how long people lived after treatment. They found that on average people with head and neck cancer lived for more than 8 months. And people who had a partial response or stable disease after treatment lived for longer on average than people whose cancer had continued to grow. This difference is unlikely to have happened by chance, so is described as being
Researchers are now carrying out other trials looking at giving Reolysin alongside other types of treatment.
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.
Dr Kevin Harrington
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Oncolytics Biotech Inc.