The RUH in Bath has become the first site in the UK and Europe to recruit a patient to a worldwide study, testing a new combination of drugs to treat breast cancer.
Dr Rebecca Bowen, RUH Consultant Medical Oncologist, who is leading the research study at the hospital, said: “We are delighted to be participating in such an interesting and important trial, allowing our patients to access future treatments which may further improve outcomes in metastatic breast cancer.”
The global study is looking at the effectiveness of combining the leukaemia drug venetoclax with the cancer drug fulvestrant, compared with using fulvestrant alone in women with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
Only a small number of cancer patients worldwide are suitable for the trial.
So far, from 31 research sites in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, 16 patients have been enrolled.
The study is also due to open in Germany. The target is to recruit 100 patients with an estimated completion date for the study in 2022.
Dr Tim Craft, Director of Research and Innovation at the RUH said: “This is great news for our patients and shows that we continue to strive to offer the opportunity to participate in leading edge research even when we are treating advanced disease. Well done to our oncology research team.”
It is an important step for the research team at the RUH, as it shows the Trust being able to set up and recruit rapidly to studies, helping to attract more clinical research companies to open trials at the RUH.
This in turn gives RUH patients greater access to future cutting- edge treatments. The current study, known as the VERONICA oncology trial, is led by the pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche with Covance, a contract research organisation.