A trial looking at AZD2014 for advanced kidney cancer (ZEBRA)

Cancer type:

Kidney cancer
Renal cell cancer




Phase 2

This trial compared AZD2014 with everolimus (Afinitor) as a treatment for kidney cancer. It was for people with a type of kidney cancer called clear cell that had spread to another part of the body.

More about this trial

Kidney cancer that has spread to another part of the body is called advanced kidney cancer. Doctors usually treat advanced kidney cancer with one of the following

All of these drugs are biological therapies. This treatment can help, but the cancer may come back. Doctors may then use another type of biological therapy called everolimus. Everolimus is a cancer growth blocker. It works by stopping signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow.

AZD2014 is also a cancer growth blocker. It blocks more signals than everolimus does and researchers thought that it may work better for advanced kidney cancer.

The aims of this trial were to

  • Compare AZD2014 with everolimus to find out which works best 
  • Find out how safe AZD2014 is 

Summary of results

The trial team found that AZD2014 did not work as well as everolimus and so recruitment into the trial was stopped early. 

This was a phase 2 trial, 49 people took part. 

The trial was randomised. This means the people taking part were put into 1 of 2 treatment groups by a computer. Neither they nor their doctor chose which group they were in.

  • 26 people had AZD2014 tablets 
  • 23 people had everolimus tablets

ZEBRA randomisation diagram

The researchers looked at the time it took for the cancer to start growing again. On average it was

  • Just under 2 months for people who had AZD2014 
  • Just over 4 ½ months for people who had everolimus

The researchers also looked at how long people lived for. They found that on average 

  • People having everolimus lived for just over 16 ½ months
  • People having AZD2014 lived for just over 6 months

ZEBRA barchart

The most common side effects reported in both groups were 

There were no significant differences between the groups in the type of side effects people had. But more people having everolimus rated their side effects as severe, compared to those having AZD2014.

The researchers concluded that people coped well with the side effects of either drug. 
The researchers planned to recruit 120 patients. But the trial was stopped after 16 months. This was because the researchers found that AZD2014 was not as good a treatment as everolimus. 

All patients stopped treatment as part of the trial. Future treatment was then discussed with people on an individual basis. 

These findings support earlier trials that show everolimus is a useful drug for people with advanced clear cell kidney cancer. 

We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

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.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Thomas Powles

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Queen Mary University of London

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUKE/11/037.

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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