June 2021: Research Update


Westmead Hospital has just been activated as a site for the MASTERPLAN pancreatic cancer clinical trial. MASTERPLAN is exploring the role of stereotactic radiation in addition to modern chemotherapy in patients with high risk, borderline resectable or locally advanced pancreas cancer. Study Chair, Doctor Andrew Oar says recent evidence has shown very encouraging outcomes with this treatment, increasing tumour death when compared to chemotherapy alone.

“MASTERPLAN has emerged as a premier study exploring the role of hypofractionated radiotherapy internationally. Every patient recruited to MASTERPLAN makes a difference and improves our knowledge of this devastating disease. The outcomes in pancreatic cancer are so abysmal that recruitment to multimodality trials with extensive translational research are more important than ever,” Doctor Oar said.

Two recent studies have also supported the clinical impact of the MASTERPLAN trial with encouraging tumour control rates.

“Patients in these publications had locally advanced pancreatic cancer and would be eligible for our trial, although the control rates need to be explored in a randomised, multi-institutional study like MASTERPLAN. Non-randomised data is highly suggestive of a role for stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in pancreas cancer, however prospective studies are urgently required.”

In addition to exploring the exciting clinical impact of SBRT, MASTERPLAN is now offering opportunities to investigate the role of nutrition, diet and gut microbiome in patients with this devastating disease. “World class prospective tissue and blood collection will provide research opportunities long after patient recruitment,” Doctor Oar added.

Learn more about MASTERPLAN



After only opening last month, INTEGRATE IIb has already been activated at nine sites and recruited 10 patients. With the target of 75 sites, this is a promising start to the trial.

The purpose of INTEGRATE II was to determine whether regorafenib improved overall survival for people with advanced gastro-oesophageal cancer. INTEGRATE IIb will determine whether a combination of regorafenib and the immunotherapy treatment nivolumab is more effective than standard chemotherapy for these patients.

Learn more about INTEGRATE IIb


MRFF funding awarded to AGITG members

Congratulations to AGITG members Professor John Zalcberg, Professor Niall Tebbutt and Professor John Mariadason for receiving Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grants.

Professor Zalcberg leads the international SSGXXII trial which aims to compare the effects of adjuvant imatinib in the treatment of GIST patients, with a high-risk of relapse, for five years instead of the standard three year treatment.

Professor Tebbutt and Professor Mariadason chair the VADER trial, testing the activity of a epilepsy and mood disorders drug in advanced colon cancer, which has so far found to profoundly increase the anti-tumour activity of a class of drug known as EGFR inhibitors.

Learn more about SSGXXII

Learn more about VADER


Trials closing to enrolment soon

MONARCC, a randomised phase 2 study of panitumumab monotherapy and panitumumab plus 5 fluorouracil as first line therapy for RAS and BRAF wild type metastatic colorectal cancer. Patient enrolment closing 30 June 2021.

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. 


Trials looking to boost patient enrolment

DYNAMIC-III aims to determine whether a chemotherapy decision based on the presence or absence of circulating tumour DNA after surgery for stage III colorectal cancer, will be more effective than the current standard of care treatment.

DYNAMIC-Pancreas, a randomised clinical trial in pancreatic cancer that will investigate the utility of ctDNA to detect the presence of residual cancer cells following curative intent surgery and guide adjuvant chemotherapy management.

DYNAMIC-Rectal is studying the usefulness of ctDNA blood tests in deciding which patient will or will not require chemotherapy after rectal cancer surgery.

OXTOX aims to improve quality of life and increase survival rates for people with colorectal cancer by addressing the main reason why patients are unable to complete their desired chemotherapy treatments with oxaliplatin.  

SPAR aims to build on research that indicates that a statin drug, taken for cholesterol, can lead to better patient responses to chemotherapy and radiotherapy in rectal cancer. 


View all AGITG open trials.