A trial of vemurafenib for cancers with a change to the BRAF gene (VE-BASKET)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

All cancer types




Phase 2

This trial is looking at a drug called vemurafenib for cancers that have a specific change to a gene called BRAF. It is for people who have cancers such as

More about this trial

Vemurafenib is a drug which stops signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow. Doctors can already use vemurafenib to treat melanoma if the cells have a change to a gene called BRAF.

The main aim of this trial is to find out if vemurafenib helps people with other types of cancer when the cells have a specific change to the BRAF gene.

The trial was recruiting people who have bowel cancer that has spread to another part of the body. They had vemurafenib alongside cetuximab which is a drug doctors can already use to treat bowel cancer that has spread. For these people, the aim of the trial was to see how well the combination of drugs works for bowel cancer that has spread. But this part of the trial has closed now.

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this trial if you have a solid tumour Open a glossary item in which the cells have a BRAF V600 gene change and

  • Your cancer has got worse despite having other standard treatments Open a glossary item or there are no standard treatments available
  • Doctors can see and measure your cancer on a scan

Or if you have myeloma, your myeloma cells have the BRAF V600 gene change and

  • You have had at least one other type of myeloma treatment that reached your whole body (systemic treatment Open a glossary item)
  • Doctors can measure your myeloma with blood tests or urine tests
  • You finished any radiotherapy for bone pain at least 2 weeks ago
  • You have more than 1 area of myeloma

And as well as the above, everybody joining the trial must

  • Have satisfactory blood test results
  • Be well enough to be up and about for at least half the day (performance status 0, 1 or 2)
  • Have recovered from the side effects of other recent treatment
  • Be able to swallow tablets
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be willing to use reliable contraception during the trial and for at least 6 months afterwards if there is any chance they or their partner could become pregnant

You cannot enter this trial if you

  • Have melanoma, papillary thyroid cancer, leukaemia Open a glossary item or lymphoma Open a glossary item
  • Have cancer that is known to have spread to your brain or spinal cord and hasn’t been treated  - you may be able to take part if you have cancer that has spread to your brain but it isn’t causing symptoms, you don’t take steroids and there have been no signs of it getting worse for at least 2 months
  • Have (or have had) a condition called carcinomatous meningitis where cancer cells have got into the layers of tissue that surround your brain and spine
  • Are currently having any other anti cancer treatment
  • Have already had a drug that targets proteins called BRAF or MEK – the trial doctor can advise you about this
  • Are known to be very sensitive to vemurafenib or a similar drug (if you are in the group of people with advanced bowel cancer, you mustn’t be known to be sensitive to cetuximab either)
  • Have any problem with your digestive system Open a glossary item that could affect how you absorb drugs
  • Have had a stroke, heart attack or other heart problems in the last 6 months
  • Have had a blood clot in your lung (pulmonary embolism) in the last month
  • Have high blood pressure that can’t be controlled with medication
  • Have an irregular heart rhythm – the trial team can confirm this
  • Have another cancer that also needs treatment
  • Have any other serious medical condition or mental health problem that the trial team think could affect you taking part
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trial design

This phase 2 trial will recruit up to 170 people. Everybody taking part will have vemurafenib.

You take vemurafenib tablets each day. The trial team will ask you to keep a diary at home. In this, you note down any days that you don’t take the tablets for any reason.

If you have side effects or you need to have other treatment such as surgery, your trial doctor will talk to you about reducing the dose or stopping the tablets for a while. You can stop taking them for up to 4 weeks and remain in the trial.

As long as you don’t have bad side effects, you can carry on taking vemurafenib for as long as it is helping you.

Hospital visits

You see the trial team and have some tests before you start treatment. The tests include

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests and urine tests
  • CT scan or MRI scan
  • Heart trace (ECG Open a glossary item)

A skin specialist (dermatologist) will examine your skin before you start treatment and again during the trial. If they find any unusual growths on your skin, you may need to have a biopsy Open a glossary item. Developing skin cancer called squamous cell cancer is a known side effect of vemurafenib. If you develop a skin cancer, this will be removed.

Some people may need to have other tests such as bone scans or PET-CT scans. Your trial doctor will explain this to you.

You go to hospital after the first 2 weeks of treatment and then every 4 weeks after that. People in the group having vemurafenib and cetuximab go to hospital once a week throughout their treatment.

Everybody has a blood test at each visit, a heart trace at some visits and a CT or MRI scan every 8 weeks. If you have myeloma, you may also need to have more bone marrow tests during the trial.

When you finish treatment, you see the trial team again 4 weeks later and have a physical examination. You have another heart trace and a dermatologist will examine your skin again if this hasn’t been done in the last 3 months. You have a CT scan of your chest within 6 months of finishing vemurafenib.

The trial doctor will check your medical notes to see how you are every 3 months for up to a year.

Side effects

The most common side effects of vemurafenib are

We have more information about vemurafenib.

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

Dr Ian Chau

Supported by

NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 9583

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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