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 treatment for advanced osteosarcoma
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Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer. Doctors usually give chemotherapy to treat advanced osteosarcoma. But at some point, the cancer may start to grow again, and may spread to another part of the body. If this happens, doctors tend to give more chemotherapy, but it is not clear what the best drug is to use.
Doctors hoped that a chemotherapy drug called pemetrexed may have helped to slow down the growth of the cancer. Doctors already use pemetrexed to treat a cancer called mesothelioma. But they wanted to see if it could be used to treat other types of cancer.
The aims of this trial were to
- Find out how well pemetrexed worked for osteosarcoma
- Learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The study team found that pemetrexed didn’t work as well as they hoped.
This trial recruited 32 people. Everyone had pemetrexed.
When the researchers looked at how well the osteosarcoma had responded they found that in
- 1 person it had shrunk –
- 15 people it had stayed the same –
Unfortunately after treatment one person died. This could have been due to a complication of the pemetrexed. But the researchers were not sure.
The most common side effects reported were
- Weakness and lack of energy
- A drop in blood cells
The trial team concluded that pemetrexed was not as good a treatment for osteosarcoma as they had hoped for.
The researchers are continuing to follow up the people who took part in the trial to see how they are getting on. We will update this summary as more results become available.
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
Dr Mayukh Das
Eli Lilly and Company Limited
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)