Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at E7050 for head and neck cancer
Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.
This trial is looking at drugs called E7050 and cetuximab (Erbitux) to treat certain cancers of the head and neck. This trial is open to people who have cancer of the mouth and oropharynx, cancer of the larynx or cancer of the nose and sinuses and is of the type called
Doctors treat these cancers with a
E7050 is a new biological therapy drug. It works by blocking a protein on the cancer cell that is involved in making blood vessels. Some cancer cells make too much of this protein. By blocking this protein, we can stop the cancer from growing the blood vessels it needs in order to continue to get bigger.
We know that the combination of E7050 and cetuximab can stop the growth of head and neck cancer cells in
The aims of this trial are to find out
- The best dose of E7050 to give
- How well the combination of E7050 and cetuximab works
- What the side effects are
Who can enter
You may be able to enter this trial if you
- Have squamous cell cancer of the larynx, mouth and oropharynx, or nose and sinuses
- Have cancer that has grown into the surrounding tissues (is locally advanced) or has spread to another part of your body
- Have cancer that continued to grow during treatment with a platinum chemotherapy drug, such as carboplatin or cisplatin or your cancer came back within a year of having this treatment
- Have cancer that can’t be treated with radiotherapy or be removed with surgery
- Have one area of cancer that can be measured on a scan
- Are well enough to be up and about for at least half the day (performance status 0, 1 or 2)
- Have satisfactory blood tests results
- Are willing to use 2 reliable forms of contraception during treatment and for 3 months afterwards if there is any chance you or your partner could become pregnant
- Are at least 18 years old
You cannot enter this trial if you
- Have nasopharyngeal cancer
- Have cancer that has spread to your brain – if this was successfully treated more than a month ago, you have no symptoms and you have not had steroids in the past month you may be able to take part
- Have already had E7050 or any similar drugs – your doctor can confirm this
- Still have side effects from any anti cancer treatment you’ve had in the past month, apart from some hair thinning
- Have severe nerve damage
- Might need to have radiotherapy for symptoms during the study
- Have had another cancer apart from successfully treated non melanoma skin cancer, or successfully treated in situ carcinoma of the cervix, prostate cancer, superficial bladder cancer or any other
solid tumourthat was successfully treated and there has been no sign of it in the past 3 years
- Have had major surgery in the past month
- Have had a serious wound that hasn’t healed, an ulcer or bone fracture in the past month
- Have had bleeding varicose veins
- Have any other problems with bleeding – if this is due to blood thinning medication you may be able to take part
- Have coughed up ½ a teaspoon or more of bright red blood in the past month
- Have had any serious problems with bleeding in your
digestive systemin the past 6 months
- Have had a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis – DVT) in the past 6 months that hasn’t been treated
- Have had a blood clot of the vein that goes into your liver (hepatic portal vein)
- Have problems with your digestive system that could affect you taking tablets
- Have had a heart attack in the past 6 months or any other serious heart problem
- Have had an organ transplant and need to take medication to damp down your immune system
- Are known to have HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- Have any other condition that could affect you taking part in this trial
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
This trial is in 2 parts. The first part is a phase 1 trial. This part will recruit 15 people. The first few people will have the lowest dose of E7050. If they don’t have any serious side effects the next few will have a higher dose. And so on, until they find the best dose of E7050 to give. This is called a dose escalation study.
The 2nd part is a phase 2 trial. It will recruit 80 people. It is a randomised trial. The people taking part are put into 1 of 2 treatment groups by a computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in. The 2 treatment groups are
- E7050 and cetuximab
E7050 is a tablet. You take it every day. Cetuximab is a liquid. You have it weekly as an injection into a vein.
You have treatment for 24 weeks if it is helping you and side effects aren’t too bad. After this you may be able to continue with your trial treatment. Your doctor will talk to you about this.
The team will take some blood samples during your treatment. They will use these to see how your body absorbs the drugs, breaks them down and gets rid of them. You must agree to have these blood samples taken if you want to take part in this trial.
They would also like to take some other blood samples. But you don’t have to agree to this if you don’t want to.
On the days when you give blood samples you don’t take your medication and you can’t eat or drink (apart from water) before you see the doctor. For 2 hours after you take your medication you can’t eat and can drink only water.
The researchers will also ask for a piece of tissue taken when you had surgery or a sample of tissue taken (a
You see the doctor to have some tests before taking part in this trial. These tests include
During treatment you see the doctor every week for the same tests apart from the heart trace. You have a CT scan or MRI scan every 2 months for 6 months and then every 3 months.
At the end of treatment you see the doctor for the same tests including the heart trace. You have a CT scan or MRI scan every 3 months until your cancer gets worse or your doctor starts you on another treatment.
E7050 is a new drug and there may be some side effects we don’t know about. The most common side effects reported include
- Feeling or being sick (nausea)
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Liver damage
- Tiredness (fatigue)
- Loss of appetite and changes to taste
- Damage to your kidneys
- Damage to your bones
- A drop in white blood cells causing an increased risk of infection
- Swelling due to a temporary build up of fluid in your body tissue
- High blood pressure
- Dry skin or a rash similar to acne
- Low levels of calcium, magnesium and sodium in your blood
- Shortness of breath
- Reddening, tingling, numbness or pain in your hands or feet (hand foot syndrome)
- Weight loss
The most common side effects of cetuximab are
- Skin reaction such as a rash
- Low levels of magnesium in your blood
- Shortness of breath
- Sore mouth
- Changes to the way your liver works
We have more information about cetuximab in our cancer drugs section.
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.
Dr Andrew Skyes
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)