August 2021: Research Update

RoLaCaRT-1 opening first sites

We are thrilled to have RoLaCaRT-1 opening at five sites in the next week. RoLaCaRT-1 is a new surgical clinical trial comparing robotic surgery to keyhole surgery for people with colon cancer. Led by Professor Andrew Stevenson, the RoLaCaRT-1 trial is the first of its kind in the world to determine the benefits of robotic surgery to laparoscopy.

Congratulations to everyone involved in making this trial a reality for patients. RoLaCaRT-1 is about to open at Cabrini Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria, Sydney Adventist Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital in New South Wales, and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in South Australia. It is opening soon at another five hospitals in Australia, two UK hospitals and at two Mayo clinics in the US.


MONARCC closes to patient enrolment

The MONARCC colorectal cancer trial has closed to recruitment. This trial seeks to determine what the best initial treatment is for an elderly patient population, as colorectal cancer is most commonly found in patients over 50, and the average age of diagnosis is 70.

Led by Dr Matthew Burge, the trial is studying the potential of using a ‘lighter’ chemotherapy regimen, 5 flurouracil, together with the antibody treatment panitumumab. It is also testing the effectiveness of using panitumumab by itself. These options could provide effective cancer control while minimising side effects.

“We are hoping to demonstrate that in this molecularly selected population, lighter and less toxic treatment regimens still provide high response rates and duration of response whilst maintaining quality of life and independence,” Dr Burge said.

The MONARCC trial was awarded a GI Cancer Institute-funded Innovation Grant, and the trial team is thankful for the support the community has provided through the grant.

“To the community supporters, I would like to say a massive thank you for your support. Despite the challenges to recruitment I still firmly believe this study represents an important research question addressing the unmet research needs of an elderly patient population with metastatic colorectal cancer. We will be doing our utmost to extract everything we can from the data we have collected and share our findings with the colorectal research community around the world.”

Dr Burge believes this trial will be instrumental in providing “a treatment option for elderly patients that is well-tolerated, convenient, and provides the best outcomes in terms of survival and quality of life.”


DYNAMIC-III recruits first Canadian patients & receives Canadian grant

Six Canadian sites have been activated and four patients now recruited to the DYNAMIC-III colorectal cancer trial. The trial has also been awarded over $1.4 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Spring Project Competition. This funding will support the Canadian contribution to the DYNAMIC-III international trial, which will assist site activations and patient recruitment. 

The DYNAMIC-III trial is investigating the effectiveness of cancer detection by observing whether circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) is present in a patient’s blood. When a tumour is present in the body, fragments of its DNA break off and circulate through the bloodstream. If ctDNA can be used to screen for the presence of a tumour, it could mean that cancer can be detected without the need for a biopsy. Congratulations to trial leads Associate Professor Jeanne Tie and Professor Peter Gibbs, and the entire DYNAMIC-111 team on this great milestone.


OXTOX activates new site

In an exciting development for the OXTOX colorectal cancer trial, Wollongong Hospital has been activated as a new site. This will provide access to the clinical trial for eligible patients in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven district. The OXTOX trial is a randomised phase II study evaluating whether ibudilast decreases the severity of acute neuropathy and enables people with metastatic colorectal cancer to get more oxaliplatin before needing dose modifications for chemotherapy-induced neuropathy (CIPN). OXTOX is now open at five sites in New South Wales.


Trials closing to patient enrolment soon

FORECAST-1, aims to demonstrate the feasibility of utilising tumour organoids established from fresh tumour biopsies of mCRC for high throughput drug testing to guide clinical decision making. Only two patients are left to finalise recruitment.

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. Patient enrolment closing 31 December 2021. 


Spotlight on Pancreas and NETS Cancer Trials

This month, we’re spotlighting our open pancreas and NETs cancer trials looking to boost patient enrolment.

  • MASTERPLAN: Exploring the role of stereotactic radiation in addition to modern chemotherapy in patients with high risk, borderline resectable or locally advanced pancreas cancer.
  • DYNAMIC-PANCREAS: Trialing the use of ctDNA biomarkers to inform clinicians of a patient’s risk of disease recurrence post surgery and guide treatment decisions.
  • RANDOMS: A substudy of MASTERPLAN, comparing the accuracy of CT scans with the Patient Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) to assess the presence of malnutrition for pancreatic cancer patients.
  • NABNEC: Comparing two different chemotherapy treatments (carboplatin plus nab-paclitaxel versus carboplatin plus etoposide) in improving disease response rates in patients.

View all AGITG open trials.