UK patient participates in first Panthera@theRutherford trial for prostate cancer

A patient at a Rutherford Cancer Centre has become the first in the UK to receive a pioneering new treatment for prostate cancer, made possible through an industry-leading partnership between Rutherford Health and Panthera.

It is the first multisite oncology trial to be undertaken by the independent sector in the UK.

Clinicians are hoping the new drug therapy – which is also the first trial to take place at a Rutherford Cancer Centre – could increase survival benefits for patients with an advanced form of prostate cancer, known as metastatic castration-resistant cancer (mCRPC). It is believed that about 20% of patients with mCRPC possess the biomarker to be eligible for this new form of treatment, with current treatment options offering a limited duration of clinical and survival benefits.

The trial is part of a phase II study that will focus on determining the optimal dose of treatment for this potential new drug therapy. Phase one studies have been successfully carried out in countries outside of the UK.

Professor Karol Sikora, chief medical officer of Rutherford Health and consultant oncologist, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting our very first trial here at our centre in the North East.

“It is very important that the UK grows its capacity to carry out oncology trials so that more patients have access to the latest treatments and that our world-leading oncologists are at the cutting edge of research. There is a global shortage of top-class oncology research sites with access to leading oncology experts and our partnership with Panthera and their expertise in running clinical trials will provide both.”

There are more than 75,000 oncology related trials underway across the world with the number growing rapidly.

A 71-year-old patient from Middlesbrough became the first person in the UK to receive this new drug. Starting the trial this week, he said: “I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this new trial and play a role in the development of potential new treatments for prostate cancer.”

Over the course of 12 months or more, the patient will receive treatment at the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East in Bedlington, Northumberland. A second patient is due to receive the treatment soon.

Stuart Young, CEO of Panthera, commented: “This partnership with Rutherford is creating enormous interest with pharma and CROs involved in cancer trials from across the world. The combination of our expertise in running trials and Rutherford’s state of the art facilities, links to more than 170 oncologists covering all types of cancer and access to their cutting-edge technologies which include MRI, CT and proton beam is very compelling.”

The phase II open label, non-randomised, prostate cancer trial which is investigating a new treatment for an advanced form of prostate cancer, known as metastatic castration-resistant cancer (mCRPC), is being run at two of the four Rutherford Cancer Centres across the UK.

The collaboration between Rutherford Health and Panthera, known as Panthera@theRutherford, combines Panthera’s expertise in managing and delivering commercial clinical trials with Rutherford’s network of centres and leading oncologists. Rutherford’s network consists of four centres in Newport, Reading, Bedlington and Liverpool, drawing patients from all over the UK via 170 referring oncologists.