A multi-drug, precision medicine trial involving Roche, the University of Manchester, and Cancer Research UK has begun for patients with rare cancers who need additional treatment options. The DETERMINE study is one of the only platform trials using precision medicine in the world that is enrolling both adult and paediatric patients with any uncommon cancer kind.
The purpose of the study is to determine whether existing treatments, particularly those that are approved for use in patients with cancer of less common occurrences, might also be beneficial in such cases. Patients who meet the criteria will have undergone genetic testing and learned that they have one of the precise gene mutations in their cancer that the particular medicine under consideration can target.
Due to the trial’s nature, the Cancer Drug Fund (CDF) will be consulted for any medication that appears to be effective for patients. The CDF will then decide whether to gather additional information and decide if the medication might be used as a standard treatment option throughout the NHS.
The experiment is being overseen by the University of Manchester’s Center for Drug Development, which is part of Cancer Research UK. Roche, meanwhile, is supplying seven of its targeted medications for the first assessment. As the trial advances, other pharmaceutical companies are encouraged to participate and supply medications.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust is the first trial site, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Glasgow, and the University of Birmingham will be the next.
This platform study is a key milestone in Cancer Research UK’s commitment to developing new treatments for cancer patients who sorely need them, said executive director of research and innovation, Iain Foulkes, at the organization. This experiment offers a simple route to providing long-term patient access to potentially life-saving therapies that weren’t previously available to patients with uncommon diseases, he continued, by looking at already-approved medications and collaborating with the Cancer Drugs Fund.
It is crucial that they enhance their research efforts for patients with uncommon cancer because there are frequently few treatment options available, according to the chief investigator for the DETERMINE trial at the University of Manchester, Dr. Matthew Krebs. Genetic testing has advanced, and they now know that some uncommon tumours possess genetic mutations that could benefit from targeted therapies that are now only available for more widespread cancer types.
Every year, 22 out of every 100 new cases of cancer in the world are uncommon malignancies. However, despite their prevalence, people with uncommon cancers have fewer therapy options.