A trial of geldanamycin analogue (17-AAG) for advanced cancer

Cancer type:

All cancer types




Phase 1

This trial was looking at a new chemotherapy drug called geldanamycin analogue (17-AAG) for advanced cancer. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK..

Doctors sometimes use chemotherapy to control the symptoms of advanced cancer Open a glossary item. In this trial, researchers were looking at a new chemotherapy drug called 17-AAG, which they hoped would help to control advanced cancer.

The aims of the trial were to

  • Find a safe a dose of the drug to use
  • Learn more about the side effects
  • See if the drug helped people with advanced cancer

Summary of results

The researchers found a safe dose of 17-AAG that didn’t cause too many side effects. But the cancer did not get smaller in any of the people in this trial.

The first few patients had a very low dose of 17-AAG. As they didn’t have any bad side effects, the next few people had a higher dose, and so on. At least 3 people safely had each dose before the dose was increased. By doing this, the researchers were able to work out the highest dose they could use without causing bad side effects.

Side effects that people did have included diarrhoea, sickness and changes to the liver.

The researchers also looked at the effect 17-AAG had on advanced cancer. In most people, they could not see a response to the drug. But in 2 people who had melanoma, the cancer stayed the same size – researchers call this stable disease Open a glossary item. One person’s disease stayed stable for over a year and the other person still had stable disease after nearly 3 and a half years.

As 17-AAG helped these 2 people and a safe dose has been worked out, the researchers suggested it should be studied in further 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 (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

Prof Ian Judson

Supported by

Cancer Research UK (Centre for Drug Development)

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUKD/99/013.

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Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 23

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

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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