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Cedars-Sinai Opens First-of-its-Kind Trial in Western U.S. for Metastatic Carcinoid Cancer Patients

Disease has had few treatment options and has no FDA-approved therapy

Los Angeles - June 7, 2013 - Working to improve treatment and survivorship outcomes, the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute has opened a Phase III clinical trial of targeted radiation for patients with intestinal carcinoid cancer that has spread beyond the intestine. Cedars-Sinai is the only facility in the western U.S. offering this clinical trial.  

Patients with carcinoid cancer require highly specialized medical care to both diagnose and individually treat their specific disease. However, these patients have had very few treatment options and no current FDA-approved therapy exists.

Carcinoid cancer and related neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are small, slow-growing tumors found mostly in the gastrointestinal system, but in other parts of the body, such as the pancreas and the lung. Over the past 30 years, these tumors have increased in incidence five-fold and are the second-most-prevalent gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies.

The new investigational therapy uses a radioactive molecule, Lutathera, which aims to attach to cancerous cells and irradiate them with little radiation exposure to the rest of the body. "If successful, the investigational therapy works much like a molecular cruise missile paired with a nuclear warhead, seeking out only cancerous cells and nuking them," said Edward M. Wolin, MD, medical oncologist, co-director of the Cedars-Sinai Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Program and the study's principal investigator. Patients enrolled in the clinical trial will be randomized to receive either Lutathera or another high-dose, nonradioactive hormone to determine which therapy is most effective.

Wolin directs a large carcinoid and neuroendocrine patient care and clinical research program. It includes a weekly Carcinoid/Neuroendocrine Multidisciplinary Patient Management Conference that brings together a team of experts to discuss cases and treatment recommendations. Wolin is one of the few neuroendocrine oncologists in the world, offering specialized clinical and research expertise across a spectrum of carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumors.

"It is our hope that this new investigational therapy, as well as other highly targeted radiotherapies, will effectively treat not only carcinoid tumors, but other types of cancers," Wolin said. "This clinical trial is one of many investigational therapies available at Cedars-Sinai, and it is an example of our innovation and dedication to providing the most effective, current and least toxic treatments to our patients."

Patients interested in carcinoid/neuroendocrine clinical trials, or other clinical trials at Cedars-Sinai, may visit http://cancertrialinfo.csmc.edu or contact Jaime Richardson, RN, BSN, OCN, CCRP, clinical trial recruitment navigator at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, at 310-423-2133 or Cancer.trial.info@cshs.org.