A trial looking at TroVax for advanced kidney cancer (TRIST)

Cancer type:

Kidney cancer
Renal cell carcinoma




Phase 3

This trial was looking at the combination of standard treatment and a vaccine called TroVax for advanced kidney cancer (renal cell cancer).

Kidney cancer that is locally advanced or has spread to another part of the body can be difficult to treat. Doctors are always looking for new treatments, or new combinations of treatments, that may work better.

TroVax has been used in clinical trials for other types of cancer before. It is a type of biological therapy called immunotherapy Open a glossary item. It uses the immune system Open a glossary item to help kill cancer cells. Researchers thought that giving TroVax with one of the standard treatments for renal cell cancer may have worked better than standard treatment alone. But they were not sure.

The standard treatments used in this trial were sunitinib, IL-2 and interferon.

The aims of this trial were to find out

  • If TroVax as well as standard treatment could help stop renal cell cancer growing
  • More about the side effects of TroVax
  • How TroVax affected the immune system
  • How TroVax affected quality of life

Summary of results

The trial team found that on the whole there was little difference between having TroVax with standard treatment or standard treatment only for advanced kidney cancer.

Recruitment to this trial stopped early because there was unlikely to be a difference in survival between the two trial groups. But the researchers did continue to follow up those who had taken part.

At the time of stopping recruitment, 13 people had completed a course of treatment with TroVax. The average time people were on the trial was 6 months.

The researchers have results for 732 people

  • 365 had TroVax with standard treatment
  • 367 had a dummy drug (placebo Open a glossary item) with standard treatment

At week 26 CT scans were taken to see how the cancer responded to treatment.

Of the 365 people who had TroVax the cancer had

  • Gone away in 2 people – this called complete response Open a glossary item
  • Got smaller in 47 people – this is called partial response Open a glossary item
  • Stayed the same in 164 people – this is called stable disease Open a glossary item

Of the 367 people who had standard treatment only the cancer had

  • Gone away in 5 people
  • Got smaller in 46 people
  • Stayed the same in 173 people

The researchers found that TroVax was well tolerated and safe when people had it alongside standard treatment.

They also found that some of the people who had TroVax and IL-2 lived for longer than those who had the dummy drug and IL-2. They say further trials should be done to find out why.

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

Professor R Hawkins

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
Oxford Biomedica

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Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

A picture of Charlie

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

Last reviewed:

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