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 TroVax for advanced kidney cancer (TRIST)
This trial was looking at the combination of standard treatment and a vaccine called TroVax for advanced kidney cancer (renal cell cancer).
Kidney cancer that is locally advanced or has spread to another part of the body can be difficult to treat. Doctors are always looking for new treatments, or new combinations of treatments, that may work better.
TroVax has been used in clinical trials for other types of cancer before. It is a type of biological therapy called
The aims of this trial were to find out
- If TroVax as well as standard treatment could help stop renal cell cancer growing
- More about the side effects of TroVax
- How TroVax affected the immune system
- How TroVax affected quality of life
Summary of results
The trial team found that on the whole there was little difference between having TroVax with standard treatment or standard treatment only for advanced kidney cancer.
Recruitment to this trial stopped early because there was unlikely to be a difference in survival between the two trial groups. But the researchers did continue to follow up those who had taken part.
At the time of stopping recruitment, 13 people had completed a course of treatment with TroVax. The average time people were on the trial was 6 months.
The researchers have results for 732 people
- 365 had TroVax with standard treatment
- 367 had a dummy drug (
placebo) with standard treatment
At week 26 CT scans were taken to see how the cancer responded to treatment.
Of the 365 people who had TroVax the cancer had
- Gone away in 2 people – this called
- Got smaller in 47 people – this is called
- Stayed the same in 164 people – this is called
Of the 367 people who had standard treatment only the cancer had
- Gone away in 5 people
- Got smaller in 46 people
- Stayed the same in 173 people
The researchers found that TroVax was well tolerated and safe when people had it alongside standard treatment.
They also found that some of the people who had TroVax and IL-2 lived for longer than those who had the dummy drug and IL-2. They say further trials should be done to find out why.
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 R Hawkins
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)