Rare Cancers


Clinical Trial


Supporting immunotherapy clinical trial for rare cancers

Although patients with rare cancers represent one in every three cancer patients, they have far fewer treatment options — and as a result, lower survival rates, with 50 per cent of all cancer deaths across the globe attributed to rare and less common cancers.

Immunotherapy boosts the body’s natural defences to fight cancer. Minderoo Foundation are supporting the MoST-CIRCUIT clinical trial which is delivering life-saving immunotherapy drugs to patients diagnosed with rare neuroendocrine, gynaecological and biliary tract cancers.

This clinical trial tackles two barriers faced by Australian patients with a rare cancer diagnosis:

  • Very limited access to clinical trials of new treatments for patients living in regional and remote areas.
  • No government-funded reimbursement for emerging effective treatments.

Improving access for cancer patients in regional areas

The MoST-CIRCUIT trial offers access for 240 Australian patients to life-saving combination immunotherapy treatment.

This combination treatment with ipilimumab and nivolumab is one of the most effective immunotherapy regimens in the treatment of patients with advanced malignancies, including for melanoma and renal cell carcinoma.

New teletrial infrastructure allows patients in rural and remote communities to access the treatment closer to home. A teletrial allows a clinician at a larger hospital to treat patients on clinical trials in partnership with smaller regional and rural centres, known as satellite sites.

Through a collaboration with OMICO and the MoST study, all patients on the trial will have genomic sequencing of their tumour to identify the genetic drivers of cancer. This will generate critical information that will enable ongoing collaborative research into understanding what causes each person’s cancer — providing insights into how an individual’s cancer might progress and its likely response to immunotherapy.

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute is sponsor of the trial and Bristol Myers Squibb is contributing the immunotherapy drugs. The trial leverages teletrial infrastructure support from federal and state governments to assist patients from rural, regional and remote regions across Australia to access the trial.

Connecting the dots with

the Federated Cancer Data Alliance

This project is contributing genomic and clinical data to Minderoo Foundation’s Federated Cancer Data alliance, which connects harmonised and de-identified cancer patient data, creating a platform to promote global collaborative research.