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 looking at cisplatin and irinotecan for advanced pancreatic cancer (PAIR)
This trial looked at a new combination of chemotherapy with cisplatin and irinotecan for people with advanced pancreatic cancer. It recruited people who hadn’t had treatment for their cancer before.
Cancer of the pancreas is very difficult to treat. Many of these cancers are not diagnosed until the cancer is quite advanced. Doctors sometimes use chemotherapy to treat advanced pancreatic cancer. Doctors running this trial wanted to look at this new combination of chemotherapy to see if it is a useful treatment.
The aims of this trial were
- To see how well cisplatin and irinotecan work for advanced pancreatic cancer
- To find out more about the side effects.
Summary of results
From their analysis of the results in 2002, the researchers say that irinotecan and cisplatin helped a small number of people in this small trial. But this drug combination caused serious side effects.
19 people took part in this trial. The researchers had planned to recruit 22 people. But the trial stopped recruiting earlier than planned as unfortunately one person died during treatment.
Everybody had cisplatin and irinotecan. After treatment had finished, the researchers found
- The cancer slowed or stopped growing in 1 person – doctors call this a
- The cancer stayed the same in 3 people – doctors call this
- The cancer continued to grow in 14 people
The researchers also found that some of the side effects were serious. They included diarrhoea, a drop in white blood cells and feeling or being sick.
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
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor Bass Hassan
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
University of Birmingham
If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses
Freephone 0808 800 4040