February 5, 2018

Lung cancer clinical trials

The Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group (ALTG), an initiative of Lung Foundation Australia, is dedicated to reducing the incidence, morbidity and mortality of lung and other thoracic cancers through coordinating and facilitating quality research. Three new clinical trials have recently been initiated in advanced thoracic malignancies and supportive palliative care.


Over time about 50 to 60 percent of patients may develop acquired resistance to first generation medications such as gefitinib and erlotinibas as a result of particular mutations in their lung cancer. The OSCILLATE study, which uses a treatment regime that alternates medication with a first generation EGFR therapy, aims to prevent or delay resistance to this medication. Researchers will also look at understanding the side effects of these medications and the timing for their administration to patients as part of the clinical trial.

PEARL study

A clinical trial of patients with newly diagnosed advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) in the United States showed early referral to palliative care improves quality of life, survival and use of health care resources. In the PEARL study researchers will investigate in Australia if early referral to palliative care improves pain, cough and breathlessness in people with advanced lung cancers.

BR.34 study

Research suggests that patients with tumours that have high levels of PD-1 may benefit more from PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors than chemotherapy.  Recent clinical trials suggest that adding PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors to, or combining them with chemotherapy may provide even greater benefit. The BR.34 study is a randomised trial where researchers look at the effects of two medications used with or without platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced squamous or non-squamous NSCLC. The study also looks at whether chemotherapy combined with dual immunotherapy will provide greater benefit than immunotherapy alone, while minimising side effects and improving or minimising the side effects of having combination therapy.

To find out more about these clinical trials including recruitment criteria, talk to your oncologist or visit altg.com.au.