"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A study to find out if a simple technique can stop heart damage caused by some chemotherapy drugs (ERIC-ONC)
Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.
This study is looking at whether a technique that restricts blood to the upper arm for short periods can stop heart damage caused by some chemotherapy drugs.
More about this trial
Chemotherapy is a usual treatment for cancer. And anthracyclines are one of the common types of drug that you might have. These include drugs such as epirubicin and doxorubicin.
All drugs have side effects. One of the side effects of anthracycline drugs is damage to the heart. At the moment, there isn’t a treatment to stop heart damage caused by these drugs. So, researchers are looking for ways to protect the heart.
In this study, they are looking at a technique called remote ischaemic conditioning or RIC. It involves inflating and deflating a blood pressure cuff on your upper arm before having chemotherapy. This safely restricts the blood supply for a short time.
Early research in the laboratory shows that RIC helps protects the heart, lungs and kidneys during a heart attack or surgery. Anthracycline chemotherapy can damage the heart muscle in a similar way to a heart attack. So, researchers think RIC might help. But they aren’t sure so want to find out more.
Some people in the study will have the RIC technique. And some will have a dummy technique.
The aim of the study is to find out if RIC protects the heart from damage that anthracycline chemotherapy can cause.
Who can enter
- are having chemotherapy that includes an anthracycline drug such a doxorubicin or epirubicin
- can tolerate having a blood pressure arm cuff inflated on your arm
- are 16 to 80 years old
- have problems with your heart such as a heart attack, chronic disease of the heart muscle, a rare heart condition called Fabry Disease or a build up of a protein called amyloid in your heart
- have narrowing of the arteries around your heart or brain (peripheral vascular disease)
- have a problem with how your kidneys work
- have diabetes and are taking a type of drug called sulphonylureas such as glipizide or glyburide
- have had the lymph nodes removed under one arm and for some reason you can’t have the blood pressure cuff inflated on your other arm
- the RIC technique
- a dummy technique (placebo)
You see a doctor before you join the study. They will discuss the study with you and you have some tests. These include:
- heart trace (ECG)
- heart scan (echocardiogram)
- MRI scan of your heart
You give some blood and urine samples before starting chemotherapy.
You see the study team when you finish chemotherapy for a check up at:
- 1 month
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 1 year
At each visit you might have blood tests, urine tests and a heart scan.
The researchers will contact you 5 years after you finish chemotherapy to see how you are getting on.
- find the cuff inflation uncomfortable
- develop very mild bruising of the skin on the upper arm
There is a very small possibility that having an MRI scan can make you feel uneasy if you have problems being in enclosed spaces.
How to join a clinical trial
Dr J Malcolm Walker
Professor Derek Yellon
NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) Award
University College London (UCL)
University College Hospital Special Charity Trustees (McLean/Greenbaum Legacy)