Cancer Research UK and Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) Network joint venture (JV) Combinations Alliance has started the SeluDex trial, a Phase I clinical study to evaluate selumetinib in combination with dexamethasone for treating leukaemia.
Conducted by the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Birmingham, the trial will initially enrol 42 patients.
The trial aims to evaluate both adults and children who have had a relapse of their acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) or refractory ALL, and who have a mutation in a gene involved in the RAS pathway.
Researchers will investigate the most suitable dose of selumetinib and dexamethasone combination.
They will also collect a number of preliminary information on the effectiveness of the combined treatment.
The trial is expected to be conducted in 23 centres across the UK and in 11 additional locations spanning six European countries.
SeluDex trial international clinical lead Josef Vormoor said: “Although there are effective treatments for leukaemia, for some patients, the disease can return after they have been treated.
“If this combination is successful, it could give us an urgently needed new way to treat patients who have relapsed and have few treatment options left.”
Selumetinib is an oral, potent and highly selective MEK 1/2 inhibitor developed jointly by AstraZeneca and MSD.
Dexamethasone belongs to a group of drugs called glucocorticoids and is already used for several conditions that include leukaemia.
The treatment can simulate the death of cancer cells.