CLATTERBIDGE Cancer Centre has become the first to recruit a patient with a cancer affecting the central nervous system to an early-phase clinical trial of a pioneering new therapy.

The RAGNAR clinical trial is investigating whether capsules of a drug called Erdafitinib could be an effective way of killing cancer cells caused by a rare gene abnormality.

The drug is being tested in a small number of patients with advanced solid tumour cancers which have not responded to other treatment or where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Led by Professor Dan Palmer, consultant medical oncologist at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and director of Liverpool's Experimental Cancer Medicines Centre (ECMC), the team has become the first in the world to trial the treatment in a patient with a brain tumour known as a glioblastoma.

They have also become the first in the UK to achieve their target for the number of patients recruited to the trial, just 66 days after the study opened in February 2020.

Professor Palmer said: "Ninety-eight per cent of the patients we screen to be involved in this study are not eligible because they do not have this rare change to the FGFR gene.

"To have successfully recruited four patients – including the first in the world with a type of brain tumour, at the current time is an incredible achievement.

"This success will allow us to press ahead and continue to develop more personalised cancer treatment for patients with solid cancer tumours such as glioblastomas."