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 of atezolizumab for non small cell lung cancer (BIRCH)
- grown into the surrounding tissues (locally advanced)
- spread to other parts of the body (advanced)
More about this trial
This trial started in 2014 and doctors looked at these results in 2015. Researchers were looking for a different way to treat people with advanced NSCLC.
Treatment for advanced NSCLC aims to control the cancer for as long as possible and help with symptoms. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy were possible treatments at the time this trial was done.
Atezolizumab (previously known as MPDL3280A) is a type of immunotherapy. It blocks a protein called PD-L1 on the surface on cancer cells. This helps the
Everyone who took part had atezolizumab for as long as it helped them and the side effects weren’t too bad.
The main aim of this trial was to find out how well atezolizumab works for people with advanced lung cancer and what the side effects are.
Summary of results
- 139 people who were having treatment for advanced NSCLC for the first time (group 1)
- 276 people whose cancer got worse during or after treatment with
platinum chemotherapy(group 2)
- 253 people whose cancer got worse during or after treatment with more than 2 different chemotherapy treatments and one was with a platinum chemotherapy (group 3)
- 17 out of 65 people (26%) from group 1 had a complete or partial response
- 29 out of 122 people (24%) from group 2 had a complete or partial response
- 31 out of 115 people (27%) from group 3 had a complete or partial response
- 27 out of 139 people (20%) from group 1 had a complete or partial response
- 46 out of 267 people (17%) from group 2 had a complete or partial response
- 44 out of 253 people (17%) from group 3 had a complete or partial response
- tiredness (fatigue)
- decreased appetite
- difficulty breathing
- feeling sick (nausea)
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 Peter Schmid
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Roche Products Limited