Left to right: Professor Jonathan Ledermann, Director CR UK and UC Cancer Trials Centre, Dr Mary McCormack, Trial chief investigator and Many Feeney, senior trial coordinator.
Consultant clinical oncologist and lead investigator Dr Mary McCormack said: "There has been no progress in the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer for over a decade. The launch of INTERLACE provides us with an exciting opportunity to offer our patients participation in an international randomised clinical trial.”
Cervical cancer is the leading cause of death in women in Eastern Europe, Central and South America, S.E. Asia and Southern Africa. There are 250,000 cases of cervical cancer worldwide every year, the death rate in the UK from cervical cancer is 35% but in East Africa it is 80%.
Funded by Cancer Research UK, Dr McCormack said: “It was great to see so many colleagues from around the UK at the launch today and we are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration".
Around 770 patients with advanced cervical cancer will be recruited over a period of 4 years to participate in the trial. The patients will be given a six weekly induction of chemotherapy as part of the trial prior to a standard course of chemotherapy, currently patients are only given the standard course of chemotherapy. The trial will aim to prove that the six week induction of chemotherapy will improve the chances of patient survival.
The trial is now open to recruitment at UCLH with other centres expected to open shortly. More than 30 hospitals and clinics in the UK have shown interest in participating in the trial, as well as others in Mexico, Belarus, Romania, France, South Africa, India and Hong Kong.
The trial will run in collaboration with Cancer Research UK and UCL.