“I was keen to go on a clinical trial. I wanted to try new cancer treatments and hopefully help future generations.”
A study looking at sunitinib with docetaxel for advanced breast cancer
This study was looking at adding the drug sunitinib to docetaxel as treatment for breast cancer that had come back or spread to another part of the body (advanced breast cancer). The women taking part had breast cancer that was
Doctors can use a chemotherapy drug called docetaxel to treat advanced breast cancer. Researchers wanted to find out if adding a drug called sunitinib improved treatment.
Sunitinib is a type of biological therapy. It is a cancer growth blocker. It stops signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow.
The aim of the study was to see if having sunitinib with docetaxel worked better than docetaxel alone for advanced breast cancer.
Summary of results
The trial team found that the length of time women lived without any sign of their cancer getting worse was about the same for women who had sunitinib and docetaxel as it was for women who had docetaxel alone.
The trial recruited 593 women at different hospitals in a number of countries. It was a randomised trial. The women taking part were put into 1 of 2 treatment groups
- 296 were randomised to have docetaxel and sunitinib
- 297 were randomised to have docetaxel alone
The number of women whose breast cancer responded to treatment was higher in the group who had sunitinib, but the length of time responses lasted was about the same in both groups. And women having sunitinib with docetaxel had more side effects than women having docetaxel alone.
Researchers found that the average length of time women had without any sign of their cancer getting worse was about the same in both groups. This was between 8 and 9 months.
The trial team concluded that although breast cancer responded to treatment more often in women who had sunitinib, it did not affect the average length of time before cancer started getting worse (progression free survival) or the average length of time women lived (overall survival).
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 (
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 Peter Simmonds
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)