CINJ trial targets new combination therapy for advanced solid tumors

March 04, 2016

Dr. Mehnert also hopes that the results of the trial will lead to the discovery of simple ways to detect autophagy in humans. For instance, the lab of CINJ's Associate Director of Basic Science, Eileen White, PhD -- who also is an adjunct professor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey -- found that a protein called p62 eliminates damaged proteins inside cancer cells, packages the waste and prepares it for disposal during the process of autophagy and may perhaps signal the presence of autophagy in tumors. "Given the findings of Dr. White's laboratory, we plan to examine blood and tumor tissue for novel proteins, such as p62, that may allow us to detect changes in the autophagy process in humans," Mehnert added.

Adults with advanced cancer in a solid tumor that is not responding to standard treatment are eligible to take part in the trial, although other criteria must be met. Prior to being accepted into the study, participants would undergo a number of tests including blood work and a physical.

If accepted for participation in the trial, individuals would receive six-week cycles of treatment, receiving both sunitinib and hydroxychloroquine in pill form through the end of treatment. The dose of sunitinib will remain the same throughout the treatment period, but the amount of hydroxychloroquine will increase during pre-determined periods of the treatment cycle. Participants would need to keep a pill diary and continue to undergo routine blood work during certain periods of the study.

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey