Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Professor Tim Maughan (Department of Oncology) outlines the flagship work of the FOCUS4 trials, whose results were presented last weekend at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) annual meeting

Hand holding a test tube, with background DNA and medical technology icons

Written by Prof Tim Maughan, Principal Investigator of the FOCUS4 project

Last weekend (Saturday 18 September 2021) a key outcome from the FOCUS4 trial was presented at oral session in the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) annual meeting.  In parallel two papers have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. So what is FOCUS4 and why has it been considered a flagship precision medicine cancer trial?

FOCUS4 opened back in 2014, following approval of funding from both EME/ NIHR and Cancer Research UK. It is a randomised trial investigating treatments for metastatic colorectal cancer using a complex adaptive methodology which is known as Multi-Arm, Multi-Stage (MAMS) design. Such trials, also called umbrella or platform trials, allow for multiple treatments to be tested simultaneously against the standard of care (the control). However, FOCUS4 has the added complexity of stratified medicine, which requires that all eligible patients undergo genome sequencing to identify genetic biomarkers relating to their cancer. Patients are then matched to the trial arm/treatment to which they are most likely to respond.

Read the full story on the Oxford Cancer website

Similar stories

COVID-19 increased public trust in science, new survey shows

A survey of over 2000 British adults has found that public trust in science, particularly genetics, increased significantly during the pandemic. However, those with extremely negative attitudes towards science tend to have high self-belief in their own understanding despite low textbook knowledge.

Gero Miesenböck awarded 2023 Japan Prize

Congratulations to Professor Gero Miesenböck, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG), who has been awarded the 2023 Japan Prize in the field of Life Sciences, together with Professor Karl Deisseroth, for pioneering work in the field of optogenetics.

Major funding for Oxford will help find new cancer treatments

Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health and Care Research are investing over £3 million across the next five years into The University of Oxford’s Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC). The investment will enable Oxford to expand its portfolio of precision prevention and early detection cancer trials.

Daniel Freeman to join Department of Experimental Psychology as Professor of Psychology

The Department of Experimental Psychology are delighted to announce that Daniel Freeman has been appointed as their new Professor of Psychology, joining from the Department of Psychiatry.

New study reveals role of lymphatic system in bone healing

It was previously assumed that bones lacked lymphatic vessels, but new research from the MRC Human Immunology Unit at Oxford's MRC Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine not only locates them within bone tissue, but demonstrates their role in bone and blood cell regeneration and reveals changes associated with aging.

Vaccination shown to protect against pregnancy complications from COVID-19 Omicron variant

The global network led by the Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute (OMPHI) at the University of Oxford has today published, in The Lancet, the results of the ‘2022 INTERCOVID Study’ conducted in 41 hospitals across 18 countries.