Renuka Iyer, MD

Clinical Trials for Neuroendocrine Tumor

Clinical trials are the final stages of cancer research that assess a potential new drug or therapy that’s already been studied extensively in the laboratory. Trials are carefully monitored scientific studies that involve patients and offer the earliest access to these newest options. Trials are conducted to determine a drug’s proper dose, how well it works and whether it’s more effective than current standard treatments. All drugs and treatment approaches currently used as standard of care were once studied in clinical trials.

Why It Matters

Participating in a clinical trial is the only way to access the very latest options, oftentimes years before they become available to other providers. If you have cancer, you need the very best treatment today.

For example, the radiopharmaceutical drug Lutathera® (lutetium Lu 177 dotatate) was approved in 2018 for patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract that are somatostatin receptor positive. Roswell Park patients had access to this drug more than a year earlier through a clinical trial conducted here.

What Options are Available to NET Patients?

The robust research program at Roswell Park provides our patients with more ways to maximize their survival, including access to:

  • A new vaccine – Developed at Roswell Park, SurVaxM is a treatment vaccine available through a clinical trial for patients with metastatic NETs. Tumor cells make proteins that are not usually produced by normal cells, including the protein surviving. Giving SurVaxM to patients who have survivin expression in their tumors may create an immune response in the blood that is directed against neuroendocrine tumors.
  • A new drug combination – Different chemotherapy drugs work in different ways and researchers are evaluating the benefit of a three-drug combination of liposomal irinotecan, fluorouracil and leucovorin in patients with high grade neuroendocrine tumor in the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas or unknown origin.

Roswell Park opens new clinical trials every day. Learn more about our clinical trials for neuroendocrine tumors or call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355). Talk to your physician about upcoming trials not yet listed here that might be right for you.