New trials to fight GI cancer

At the GI Cancer Institute, we believe that we will find a way to more effectively treat and cure gastro-intestinal cancer.

Thanks to the generous support of people like you, we have been able to conduct several clinical trials evaluating the success of new treatments for bowel cancer. We are now in the process of raising funds for Australian participation in an exciting international clinical trial called ASCOLT, which will determine whether aspirin can reduce cancer recurrence for patients with high-risk bowel cancer who have undergone surgery.

Searching for better bowel cancer treatments
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australia and the second leading cause of cancer  deaths. About 14,000 new cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed each year. It is a disease that affects  people of all ages, although its risk increases with age.

Twenty years ago the average prognosis for bowel cancer was six months. With the introduction  of chemotherapy this improved to 12 months, and then the use of combinations and sequences of various chemotherapy drugs increased it to 18 months. Today, with new drugs such as monoclonal  antibodies in the mix, this figure has increased to two years.

Is aspirin the answer?
It is thought that the common painkiller aspirin could improve survival in patients with resected high-risk bowel cancer. As such, the GI Cancer Institute is raising money for an exciting new trial called ASCOLT,  which will begin in early 2014.

Aspirin is known to be helpful in treating heart and blood vessel diseases, but recent studies suggest that it also has some anticancer properties. The ASCOLT study will test whether aspirin can reduce the  recurrence of cancer and improve survival in patients with resected high-risk bowel cancer.

If it proves positive, aspirin is likely to become part of standard treatment. ASCOLT will be an international multi-centre trial. Approximately 1200 patients will be participating worldwide, with 200 patients from  Australia.

The GI Cancer Institute is working to raise $80,000 in donations to support the study.

To donate to this trial, click here and place ‘ASCOLT’ in the comments area.

Testing the effectiveness of a new bowel cancer drug
Our researchers are working in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Canada on a very large global study called C0.23 which is looking at the impact of a new type of drug on bowel cancer. This drug is a class of drugs known as cancer stem cell inhibitors. This trial is for people with bowel cancer who have exhausted all other therapies. The C0.23 study will provide insights into whether this treatment leads to improvements in survival and quality
of life. It will also provide information about the association between improvements in survival and delayed  recurrence of disease and particular biomarkers. This may lead to targeted bowel cancer treatments.

New hope for oesophageal cancer patients
INTEGRATE, our latest oesophageal cancer study, is providing new hope for patients. Our researchers have developed a clinical trial for people with oesophageal cancer that is resistant to current treatment options.

The INTEGRATE trial is testing a drug that has shown promising results for other GI cancers. It will determine if this drug can provide extra time and improve quality of life for oesophageal cancer patients. The INTEGRATE study is also looking at isolating cancer markers that will help to identify people with oesophageal cancer who may be more responsive to this particular drug.