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Radiotherapy may help cancer drug cross blood-brain barrier

Fast facts

  • Official title: Randomised phase 2 study of afatinib penetration into cerebral metastases for patients undergoing neurosurgical resection, both with and without prior low-dose, targeted radiotherapy (CamBMT1)
  • Lead researcher: Dr Richard Baird
  • Where: University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital
  • When: May 2013 - October 2017
  • Cost: £65,715
  • Research type: Adult, Metastases, Clinical Trial

Working out if radiotherapy helps tumour targeting drugs cross the blood brain barrier to reach cancers that have spread to the brain (metastases).

Dr Richard Baird and his team at the University of Cambridge hope to find out whether radiotherapy helps a tumour targeting drug (afatinib) cross the blood brain barrier to reach cancer that has spread to the brain.

Failure of drugs to cross the blood brain barrier can be a major reason for treatment not working for patients with brain tumours.

In this clinical trial, which is jointly funded with Cancer Research UK, Dr Baird will test whether radiotherapy increases the amount of the cancer-targeting drug afatinib reaches the tumours in patients with cancer that has spread to the brain, also called metastases.

They want to identify the best dose of radiotherapy and of afatinib to ensure enough of the drug reaches the tumours to have an effect.

Positive results could lead to a larger trial to test whether afatinib with radiotherapy is more effective than the standard treatment for patients with cancer that has spread to the brain.

Find out more about this trial to target brain metastases using radiotherapy and afatinib


Clinical trial information

Formal title: Randomised phase 2 study of afatinib penetration into cerebral metastases for patients undergoing neurosurgical resection, both with and without prior low-dose, targeted radiotherapy (CamBMT1)

Key Researcher: Dr Richard Baird, University of Cambridge

Tumour type: Metastases

Research type: Clinical Trial

Timing: Granted in May 2013 for three and a half years