Clinical Trial of the Week: Treatment trial for patients diagnosed with advanced rectal cancer

By Donna Loyle, communications specialist, LIMR

Main Line Health is recruiting patients who’ve been diagnosed with locally advanced cancer of the rectum and in need of surgery. Researchers seek to determine overall survival and disease-free survival in patients administered a specific drug treatment regimen.

Prior to surgery, all study participants receive eight cycles of mFOLFOX6. After chemotherapy, patients are treated with radiotherapy for three to four weeks and capecitabine. One group of patients also receives the experimental drug veliparib, a potential anti-cancer medication. And a third group receives the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®).

Inclusion criteria:

  • Eligible patients must have been diagnosed with non-recurrent stage II or III adenocarcinoma of the rectum with major portion of tumor intact and <12cm from the anal verge or below the peritoneal reflection
  • Must not have undergone surgical excision
  • Must have no synchronous colon cancer
  • Must be able to swallow and retain oral medications

Other inclusion/exclusion criteria apply.

Trial NRG-GI002 is available at Lankenau Medical Center. The principal investigators are Albert DeNittis, MD, and Paul Gilman, MD. For more information, visit


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