April 2021: Research Update


The FORECAST-1 has just four patients left to enrol, after opening only six months ago.

FORECAST-1 aims to address a large unmet need for people with metastatic colorectal cancer when standard therapy fails. Professor Peter Gibbs and his team are addressing this by using new technology to grow Patient-Derived Tumour Organoids (PDTOs) from biopsies of patients’ tumour tissue.

This study opened for patient enrolment in September. Twenty-six patients have now joined the study out of an enrolment target of 30 patients.

Professor Gibbs was the recipient of the 2019 Innovation Grant for FORECAST-1. He received a grant of $200,000, which was funded by the community through donations and the Gutsy Challenge.

By growing organoids in the lab, the research team can model the effectiveness of anti-cancer treatments on individual cancers in a petri-dish, better tailoring each patient’s treatment. FORECAST-1 will investigate the effectiveness of this approach for patients when other treatments are no longer effective, but Professor Gibbs hopes that it could be used in the future to determine the best therapeutic approach for people who have not yet been treated.

“One of the dilemmas that we have as more and more new treatments become available is for each individual patient – what is the best treatment for them? In the future I’d hope that we could grow organoids in the laboratories, and use them to test precisely which is the best treatment for each patient,” says Professor Gibbs.

FORECAST-1 is currently open at Melbourne Private Hospital, Box Hill Hospital and Sunshine Hospital.

Find out more about FORECAST-1 here.

View all AGITG open trials.


Trials closing to enrolment soon

These AGITG trials are close to reaching their enrolment targets:

TOPGEAR, an international, phase II/III trial investigating whether the addition of chemoradiotherapy to chemotherapy is superior to chemotherapy alone in the neoadjuvant setting in patients with resectable gastric cancer.

ASCOLT, a phase IV trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of adjuvant aspirin 200 mg versus placebo 200mg and to determine if it can improve disease-free survival and overall survival in patients with resected Dukes C or high-risk Dukes B colorectal cancer.

NABNEC, a randomised phase II trial of patients with grade 3 neuroendocrine carcinomas (NECs) aiming to determine the safety and efficacy of carboplatin plus nab-paclitaxel in comparison with carboplatin plus etoposide.