A study looking at clarithromycin for weight loss in people with lung cancer

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer




Phase 4

This study looked at using clarithromycin to stop weight loss in people with lung cancer. It was open to people with a type of lung cancer called non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

More about this trial

Weight loss (cachexia) is common in people with lung cancer. It involves loss of muscle which can reduce your ability to get around and to look after yourself. One of your body’s responses to cancer is inflammation Open a glossary item. Doctors think there may be a link between inflammation and cachexia and this could be an important cause of the muscle loss.

Clarithromycin is, an antibiotic used to fight infection. We know from research that clarithromycin can reduce the inflammation caused by non small cell lung cancer. This can lead to an increase of weight, fewer admissions into hospital and an increase in how long people lived. But these were small studies and a larger study needs to be done to see if it gets the same results. Before doing this, researchers need to make sure that it would be possible to do.

In this study some people were due to have clarithromycin and the others a dummy drug (placebo Open a glossary item). The researchers wanted to find how willing people are to join the study and if they could get enough people to take part. They also wanted to find out how safe it is to give clarithromycin to people who have weight loss due to their lung cancer.

Summary of results

This study closed early as the researchers were unable to find enough suitable people to take part.

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 Andrew Wilcock

Supported by

NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
University of Nottingham

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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