“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”
A trial looking at chemotherapy for advanced cancer of the penis (EORTC 30992)
This trial was looking at a combination of the chemotherapy drugs irinotecan and cisplatin to treat advanced cancer of the penis (penile cancer).
Doctors often treat early stage cancer of the penis with surgery. Men may have radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well, depending on the stage.
If penile cancer spreads to the surrounding tissues (locally advanced cancer) or to another part of the body (metastatic cancer) it can be more difficult to treat. Advanced penile cancer is very rare, so there haven’t been very many clinical trials to find out which treatment is best.
Doctors thought that a combination of 2 chemotherapy drugs called irinotecan (Campto) and cisplatin might be useful for advanced penile cancer. Both irinotecan and cisplatin were already licensed in the UK. But they were not usually given together, or for penile cancer.
The aims of this trial were to
- Find out how well the combination of irinotecan and cisplatin worked for advanced penile cancer
- Learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that penile cancer responded to this combination of chemotherapy drugs in less than a third of the men in the trial.
The trial recruited 28 men with advanced penile cancer.
- In 2 men, the cancer disappeared – researchers call this a
- In 6 men, the cancer got smaller – researchers call this a
- In 8 men, the cancer stayed the same size – researchers call this
- In 10 men the cancer continued to grow
- The researchers did not have results for 2 men
Side effects included diarrhoea and a drop in the number of blood cells.
7 men had cancer that had spread to their
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
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor Tim Oliver
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses
Freephone 0808 800 4040