“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 irosustat to treat advanced breast cancer (IRIS)
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This study looked at a new drug called irosustat with another hormone therapy used to treat breast cancer called
It was for
- had spread to the surrounding tissue (locally advanced) or to another part of the body (secondary breast cancer)
oestrogen receptor positive(ER positive)
Cancer Research UK supported this study.
More about this trial
Most breast cancers in post menopausal women need the hormone oestrogen to grow. There are 2 pathways in the body that make oestrogen.
Aromatase inhibitors are a type of hormone therapy that works by blocking one of these pathways. Irosustat is another type of hormone therapy that works by blocking the other pathway.
The researchers thought that by blocking both pathways the amount of oestrogen could be reduced further.
The aims of this trial were to see how well adding irosustat to an aromatase inhibitor worked and how safe this combination was.
Summary of results
The team found that adding irosustat to an aromatase inhibitor did work and was safe to use.
This was a phase 2 study. 27 women took part. They had all had treatment with an aromatase inhibitor which had worked for some time but then their cancer had got worse.
In this study they had irosustat with their aromatase inhibitor. Everyone had at least 1 dose of irosustat.
To find out if irosustat worked the researchers wanted to know how many women had:
- no sign of their cancer (a complete response)
- cancer that had shrunk (a partial response)
- cancer that had stayed the same (stable disease) for a continuous period of 6 months
They were able to assess 23 women. They found that 5 women had stable disease for at least 6 months. The average length of time that the disease remained stable disease was about 9½ months.
The most common side effects reported were:
- dry skin
- feeling sick
The team concluded that there was evidence aromatase inhibitors and irosustat worked together when combined and was safe to use. But, more studies are needed to explore this further.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Carlo Palmieri
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/11/025.