A study looking at a drug called selumetinib with radiotherapy for non small cell lung cancer (MEKRT trial)

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer




Phase 1

This study looked at the dose of selumetinib that you can safely have with radiotherapy to treat non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

It was for people who had non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that was either:

More about this trial

Radiotherapy is a treatment for people with either stage 3 or stage 4 NSCLC. You might have radiotherapy at the same time as chemotherapy to try to cure your cancer (chemoradiotherapy). Or you may have it on its own to control symptoms if the cancer is more advanced. 

In this study, doctors wanted to improve treatment for people with either stage 3 or 4 NSCLC. They combined radiotherapy with a drug called selumetinib (also known as AZD6244). 

Selumetinib is a targeted cancer drug called a cancer growth blocker. It works by blocking certain proteins that tell cancer cells to divide and grow. Doctors wanted to know if selumetinib can slow down the growth of the cancer and help radiotherapy work better. 

The aim of this study was to find the dose of selumetinib that people with NSCLC can safely have with radiotherapy. 

Summary of results

The study team found a dose of selumetinib that people can safely have with radiotherapy. But this treatment didn’t help people as well as doctors had hoped for. 

This was a phase 1 trial. The following people took part:

  • 16 people with stage 3 NSCLC that couldn’t have treatment with chemoradiotherapy
  • 5 people with stage 4 NSCLC who had symptoms affecting their chest

Everyone had the same dose of selumetinib twice a day, for 7 days. Then they started radiotherapy with selumetinib. This continued for about 6 and a half weeks. 

The trial team looked at the most common side effects people had. They were:

  • skin rash
  • red and sore skin
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick
  • inflammation of the food pipe 

Doctors also looked at the average amount of time people lived, after the start of treatment. This is called median survival. They found that on average, people lived for almost 10 months.

The trial team concluded that selumetinib with radiotherapy is a safe treatment. But this treatment doesn’t help people with either stage 3 or stage 4 NSCLC. The team doesn’t think more research should be done looking at this treatment.

We have based this summary on information from the research team.  As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) or published in a medical journal yet. The figures we quote above were provided by the research 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 Corinne Faivre-Finn

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
University of Manchester

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

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.

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

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"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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