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 talactoferrin for advanced non small cell lung cancer (FORTIS-M)
This trial looked at a drug called talactoferrin for non small cell lung cancer that has got worse despite treatment.
Doctors can treat non small cell lung cancer with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or biological therapy. But this type of cancer often comes back after treatment and researchers are looking for new treatments to help people in this situation.
In this trial, they looked at a drug called talactoferrin. Talactoferrin is made in the laboratory, but is similar to a body substance called lactoferrin. Lactoferrin is normally found in
The aim of this trial was to see if having talactoferrin helped people with non small cell lung cancer that had got worse despite already having had 2 other types of treatment.
Summary of results
The researchers found that talactoferrin was not a useful treatment for people with advanced non small cell lung cancer that had got worse despite treatment.
This trial recruited 742 people with non small cell lung cancer. They had all had 2 or more different types of treatment for their lung cancer in the past.
The people taking part were put into 1 of 2 groups at random. For every 3 people taking part, 2 had talactoferrin liquid to swallow and 1 had dummy liquid (a
- 497 had talactoferrin
- 245 had the placebo
The research team looked at
- How well the treatment worked
- How many people had signs that their cancer had continued to grow
- The number of people alive a year after treatment
They found that there was no difference between the 2 groups in any of these.
They also found that talactoferrin didn’t cause very many side effects, and they were often mild.
The research team concluded that talactoferrin was not a useful treatment for people with advanced non small cell lung cancer that had got worse.
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
Dr Yvonne Summers
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer