Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study to see if bortezomib and an epilepsy drug could be a treatment for melanoma or bowel cancer
We know that this is an especially worrying time for people with cancer and their family and friends. We have separate information about coronavirus and cancer. Please read that information alongside this page. We will update that information as guidance changes.
This study was to find out how small doses of bortezomib (Velcade) and the epilepsy drug sodium valproate worked in people with melanoma or bowel cancer.
Researchers knew that an epilepsy drug called sodium valproate blocks
Early research into using drugs such as sodium valproate to treat cancer had shown promising results. Research had also suggested that this type of drug worked well alongside bortezomib.
Summary of results
This study was closed early as the researchers weren’t able to recruit enough people. But they were able to show that a substance called HR23B was increased in the cancer after people took sodium valproate.
HR23B is what researchers call a
HR23B is a biomarker that shows a response to drugs that block proteins in the cancer called histone deacetylases (they are HDAC inhibitors). Sodium valproate is an HDAC inhibitor. Knowing that this marker increased after people took sodium valproate may be useful for future research.
How to join a clinical trial
Prof Mark Middleton
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Oxford Cancer Research Centre
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust