Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at ATN-224 capsules for advanced cancer (PH1/097)
This trial was looking at a treatment called ATN-224 for advanced solid tumours (not lymphoma or leukaemia). This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
ATN-224 is an anti angiogenic drug. This means that it stops new blood vessels growing.
ATN-224 works by binding to copper in the body. Cancer cells need copper to grow new blood vessels. So if there is less copper, the cancer cannot form new blood vessels. This will not directly kill the cancer cells, but it will hopefully stop or slow down the growth of the cancer.
The first few people who took part in this trial had the lowest dose of ATN-224. The next few people had a higher dose. And so on until the trial team found the best dose to give. This is called a dose escalation study.
The aims of this trial were to
- Find the best dose of ATN-224 to give
- See what the side effects are
- Find out more about how ATN-224 works
Summary of results
The trial team found the best dose of ATN-224 to give. And they found out more about the side effects of the drug.
This trial recruited 18 people. They all had solid tumours such as breast or bowel cancer. They had all had treatment in the past but their cancer had started to grow again. Two people were on the trial for less than 3 weeks because their cancer continued to grow and they became too unwell to take part.
16 people took ATN-224 capsules twice a day for at least 6 months. They had regular blood tests. The research team used a marker to measure the amount of copper in their blood. They found that ATN-224 lowered the amount of copper in the blood in 13 out of the 16 patients.
These 13 patients had a scan after 6 months of treatment. The scans showed that 2 people’s cancer had not grown any more. This is called stable disease. And 11 people’s cancer had continued to grow.
The most common side effects were
- A drop in red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets
- Smelly burps
The research team concluded that now they had found the best dose to give, ATN-224 could be looked at in further trials, possibly in combination with another treatment.
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
Professor Adrian Harris
Cancer Research UK (Centre for Drug Development)
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)