A highly-anticipated clinical trial in gastric cancer that started at Peter Mac and now involves patients globally has received a $621,000 grant to support final data analysis.

The “TOPGEAR” Phase III trial seeks to answer important questions around the best use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in addition to surgery, for gastric cancer.

It started at Peter Mac in 2009, opened to patients internationally from 2013 and, in May this year, reached its target of 570 patients - across 70 sites in 15 countries.

This latest grant was the trial’s third from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Professor Trevor Leong said TOPGEAR represented a unique collaboration between surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists and the outcome was expected to change practice.

“TOPGEAR is trying to answer one of the most important questions in Upper GI oncology worldwide,” said Professor Leong, study chair and a consultant radiation oncologist at Peter Mac.

“That is to determine the best combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to improve cure rates for patients with gastric cancer.

“Clinicians across the world are eagerly awaiting the results … especially in Upper GI circles where it is one of the most anticipated trials.”

TOPGEAR is the largest trial conducted by the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group and it is an entirely academic study, without pharmaceutical industry funding.

The NHMRC assessors gave TOPGEAR their highest “category 7” in this grant round – see all grant recipients here.

In October, Professor Leong will give an update on TOPGEAR at the ASTRO (American Society for Radiation Oncology) Annual Meeting.

“Progressing into the final stages, we look forward to sharing the results of the trial which aim to set the standard of care for patients with resectable gastric cancer and improve treatment outcomes and cure rates,” Professor Leong said.

For more information contact the Peter Mac Communications team on 0417 123 048.

About Peter Mac

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is a world-leading cancer research, education and treatment centre and Australia’s only public health service solely dedicated to caring for people affected by cancer.