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The Cancer Network supports a wide range of clinical studies which are helping to progress cancer care in Scotland and beyond and all Scottish research ongoing within the network is registered with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). The cancer clinical trial portfolio is very dynamic and is frequently changing as studies open and close to recruitment. Across Scotland, there is a wide range of clinical trials happening in different disease sites. Information on trials happening in the UK can be found on the UK Clinical Trials Gateway and the Cancer Research UK website. For specific information on trials happening in Scotland please contact your cancer professional or your local cancer research network.
To highlight the clinical trials happening in Scotland the cancer research network will feature current trials happening during the different cancer awareness months that take place throughout the year.
March – Cancer Awareness Month
Ovarian and Prostate Cancer
The prostate is a small gland at the base of the bladder. It is about the size of a walnut but gets bigger as men get older. The prostate surrounds the first part of the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder to the penis. The same tube also carries semen, the fluid containing sperm. Most cancers in the prostate develop slowly and men may not have any symptoms for a long time. There are various ways to treat the cancer; chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy and surgery.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and in 2015 affected around 47,200 men in the UK.
The results of previous research into using aspirin to prevent heart attacks or strokes has suggested that people who take aspirin regularly are less likely to develop cancer and if they do it is less likely to spread. This study investigates if taking a dose of aspirin can prevent cancer coming back after a patient has had treatment. The study will compare different doses of aspirin against a placebo to find out what the correct dose may be to prevent the cancer returning. The study will also look at the side effects and the health benefits of taking aspirin. This study is recruiting in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and other hospitals in Scotland.
Further information on Add Aspirin study can be found here
Hormone therapy is a type of treatment used to reduce the levels of testosterone in the body which has been shown to slow down the growth of prostate cancers. Usual hormone therapy might include: injections or implants to stop the testicles making testosterone or to block the effects of testosterone or surgery to remove the testicles or the parts of the testicles that make testosterone - this is called an orchidectomy.
This study is looking at giving all patients hormone therapy as standard in connection with other treatments such as chemotherapy, metformin or an oestradiol patch to see which provides the best results. Some arms of the study have already closed and the results have been published. The study is still recruiting in hospitals in Inverness, Edinburgh, Ayr and Forth Valley.
All patients enrolled in this trial can also take part in the Stampede sub study which involves taking DNA from patient samples of saliva, blood and tissue to identify genetic markers. For example, in future it may help to identify patients who will benefit most from certain treatments or patients who may be prone to side effects of treatment.
Further information is available here
UKGPCS – UK Genetic Prostate Cancer Study
This study is recruiting patients throughout the UK and is looking at the genetic causes of prostate cancer. The study aims to recruit younger men who have a family history of prostate cancer (either a father/brother). It may be possible in the future to use this knowledge firstly to screen other family members to see if they are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer and also to develop new treatments for the future.
The study is recruiting at locations around Scotland.
More information can be found here
Ovarian Cancer is one of a number of gynaecological cancers and occurs when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, and eventually form a growth (tumour).
Around 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year. This makes ovarian cancer the 6th most common cancer in women. Of these, 53% of those woman are over 65.
For more information on Ovarian Cancer please click here
Usually ovarian cancer is treated with chemotherapy but it can come back or continue to grow. Therefore this study is looking at a new drug Rucaparib (or CO-338) which is a type of targeted cancer drug known as a PARP inhibitor. PARP is a protein that helps damaged cells to repair themselves. If PARP is blocked, then cancer cells might not be able to repair themselves. Patients on the study will either be given Rucaparib or standard chemotherapy treatment. The study aims are to see how well Rucaparib works and also learn about the side effects.
The study is recruiting in Dundee and Glasgow.
More information can be found here
Olaparib is a PARP inhibitor, a new class of drugs targeting tumours with deficiencies in DNA repair mechanisms. PARP inhibitors have been found to prolong the time before ovarian cancer starts to grow again when given as maintenance treatment (treatment given to help keep cancer from coming back following initial treatment) after platinum based chemotherapy for patients who have relapsed. The main part of the study will investigate if Olaparib is effective as a maintenance treatment.
This study is recruiting in Dundee and Glasgow.
More information can be found here at the Target Ovarian Cancer website.