The Bone Cancer Research Trust has awarded top-up funding of more than £200,000 to support an international clinical trial for Ewing sarcoma patients.

Three years of additional funding has been granted to provide further support for rEECur, an ongoing clinical trial examining chemotherapy options for patients whose disease had either returned (relapsed) or did not respond to treatment initially (refractory).

The trial, led by Dr Martin McCabe at the University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, is hoping to identify the best chemotherapy backbone to which new drugs could be added for treatment.

Results gathered from the trial so far suggest that high dose ifosfamide is the most effective chemotherapy treatment currently offered to patients.

Multiple tyrosine kinase inhibitors (mTKIs) are a class of targeted drugs that are active against relapsed Ewing sarcoma tumours when given alone. The rEECur trial is now testing whether lenvatinib, an MTKI given with chemotherapy, is more effective than chemotherapy alone.

The new funding will allow Dr McCabe and his team to carry out three studies that were not funded by the original trial, maximising the knowledge gained from each patient recruited onto rEECur.

The three additional studies will now look at how the drug moves around the body (pharmacokinetics), indicators of response to treatment and indicators of relapse.

Aims of the project

  • Ensure that sufficient levels of lenvatinib are given to patients when combined with high dose ifosfamide
  • Develop biomarkers that will allow clinicians to predict who is likely to respond to lenvatinib
  • Construct tissue blocks from the tumour samples of patients recruited onto rEECur in the UK to be used collaboratively with other countries including France, Spain, Italy, and Germany to identify markers for recurrence

Zoe Davison, Head of Research, Information & Support at the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said:

We are delighted to be providing extra support to the rEECur trial, which we hope will add even more value to the promising samples already gathered by Dr McCabe and his team. By analysing patient samples collaboratively with other countries participating in the trial, we will bring specialist expertise from Europe together to develop more effective treatments, accelerate change and improve outcomes for Ewing sarcoma patients.

How will this project benefit Ewing sarcoma patients?

This project looks to improve the outcome for patients diagnosed with relapsed and refractory Ewing sarcoma through the addition of a targeted drug to their chemotherapy treatment.

By identifying patients who are most likely to respond to MTKI therapy (lenvatinib), it will offer more targeted treatment and minimise harm to patients.

The project also has the potential to help identify patients that are likely to experience relapse at the point of diagnosis to better plan their treatment.

Find out more about the additional funding below:

Find out more