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NABNEC for Neuroendocrine Carcinomas

Trial Name: NABNEC: A randomised phase II study of nab-paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin as first line treatment of gastrointestinal neuroendocrine carcinomas (ACTRN12616000958482).


Patients Involved: Adults with advanced and/or metastatic non-resectable gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Carcinomas (NECs), including both small cell and large cell-NEC.

Treatment Given: nab-paclitaxel + carboplatin (new treatment arm) OR etoposide + carboplatin (control arm). As of late 2020 the NABNEC trial closed the control arm of the trial. The new treatment arm remains open.

Rationale for Treatment: In Australia, the current standard chemotherapy treatment for neuroendocrine cancers is carboplatin plus etoposide. This is based on similarities with small cell lung cancer, however the effectiveness of this treatment for neuroendocrine cancers has never been investigated in randomised trials. Also, even if initial chemotherapy may be effective, the cancer often returns in the patient within months, so better treatments are needed. It is hoped that the findings of this study will show which treatment is most promising – a combination of carboplatin and etoposide chemotherapy, or carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy - in improving outcomes for patients with advanced gastrointestinal neuroendocrine carcinoma. Furthermore, the NABNEC study will enhance our understanding of the biology and imaging features of NECs.

Recruitment: The trial opened in September 2016. The aim is to recruit 58 patients from sites around Australia

Sites Involved: As of 8th March 2021 a total of 49 participants have enrolled. 18 Australian sites are open to recruitment.

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 For information on recruiting sites please go to:

All correspondence should be directed to the NABNEC Trial Coordinatornabnec@ctcusyd.edu.au.