Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial of vinflunine for cancer of the penis (VinCaP)
This trial looked at the chemotherapy drug vinflunine for penile cancer that has spread outside the penis, or to another part of the body.
The trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
It was open for people to join between 2014 and 2017. The team published the results in 2021.
More about this trial
Doctors often treat cancer of the penis with surgery. This isn’t always possible if the cancer has spread. When this trial was done you might have had chemotherapy instead.
Vinflunine was a newer chemotherapy drug when researchers ran this trial. They wanted to see how well it worked for penile cancer.
The main aims of the trial were to see:
- if vinflunine is a useful treatment
- what the side effects are
Summary of results
The trial team found that vinflunine worked for penile cancer.
25 people joined this phase 2 trial. Everyone had vinflunine. They had up to 4
12 people had all 4 cycles of vinflunine.
The team had the results for 22 people. They looked at how well treatment worked. To do this they looked at scans.
The team looked at the number of people whose cancer had gone away, got smaller or stayed the same. They found this was 10 people (45.5%).
- didn’t go away completely in anyone
- got smaller in 6 people
- stayed the same in 4 people
- got worse in 12 people
The team looked at how long people lived. This was about 8.4 months. They also looked at how long before the cancer started to grow again. This was about 2.9 months. The team say this is similar to standard combinations of chemotherapy that this group of people might have.
The most common side effects of vinflunine were:
- tiredness (fatigue)
- loss of appetite
- a drop in red blood cells (
anaemia) causing an increased risk of tiredness and breathlessness
15 people had at least one serious side effect. The most common serious side effect was a drop in the number of
In this small trial the team concluded that vinflunine was a useful treatment for penile cancer. And that it is worth looking at in a larger trial. The team found that there weren’t any unexpected side effects of treatment.
The trial team don’t have plans to run a larger trial at the moment.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
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 Lisa Pickering
Dr Steve Nicholson
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Pierre Fabre Ltd UK
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/12/021.