Now recruiting: Combination therapy clinical trial for small-cell lung or small-cell extrapulmonary cancers

Lung cancer metastasis

Lung cancer metastasis
Photo courtesy of NCI Visuals Online

Patients with small-cell lung cancer that has returned after treatment or small-cell cancer that started outside the lungs may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center.

The term “small cell” describes how some cancer cells look under a microscope—the cancerous cells are smaller than normal cells. An example is small-cell lung cancer, an aggressive, fast-growing type of lung cancer. Anish Thomas, M.D., of the Developmental Therapeutics Branch, is leading a study of a drug combination to treat small-cell lung cancer that has come back after treatment as well as small-cell cancer that started at a site other than the lungs (extrapulmonary). Some patients in the study will receive only topotecan, a chemotherapy drug. Topotecan works by damaging the part of a tumor cell’s DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself by dividing. Cells that can’t divide will die and may cause a tumor to shrink. Other study patients will receive topotecan and M6620, a drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to topotecan by blocking an enzyme that helps to repair damaged DNA. Investigators want to determine how effective this combination is versus topotecan alone for patients with relapsed small-cell lung cancer or extrapulmonary small-cell cancer.   

Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT03896503 
NCI Protocol ID: NCI-20-C-0009 
Official Title: Randomized Phase II Trial of Topotecan Plus M6620 (VX-970) vs. Topotecan Alone in Patients With Relapsed Small-Cell Lung Cancer

The Center for Cancer Research is NCI’s internal cancer center, a publicly funded organization working to improve the lives of cancer patients by solving important, challenging and neglected problems in cancer research and patient care. Highly trained physician-scientists develop and carry out clinical trials to create the medicines of tomorrow treating patients at the world’s largest dedicated research hospital on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.   

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Summary Posted: Thu, 01/16/2020