Patients needed for international lung cancer trial

POTENTIAL Ballarat candidates are needed for an international lung cancer research trial.

Run by the Ballarat Oncology and Haematology Services Clinical Trials Unit, it is aimed at patients with non small cell lung cancer who have a KRAS positive genetic mutation and a cancer that has continued to spread after a first treatment.

The study will involve 634 patients in 220 locations in 26 countries.

However, the unit’s principal investigator Professor George Kannourakis estimates only one in six people screened will have the KRAS positive genetic mutation, so about 4225 patients will need to be screened internationally.

KRAS is a gene involved in cell division but, when it mutates, causes cells to become cancerous and, instead of dying, switch to overgrowth.

“We will be looking to enrol at least five patients from Ballarat and surrounding areas,” Professor Kannourakis said.

The trial’s main aim is to test the effectiveness of a new oral chemotherapy regime in combination with an intravenous chemotherapy protocol.

It is hoped the study will show the drug Selumetinib slows down the lung cancer’s return.

People who would like to be involved in the study can contact the unit’s clinical trial coordinator Anne Morcombe on 5339 8000 or at

The Ballarat Oncology and Haematology Services Clinical Trials Unit is one of regional Victoria’s leading research units and is currently running 18 individual research trials and has another eight pending.