News from Illinois CancerCare

Illinois CancerCare Enrolls First Patients in the World in Two Separate Clinical Research Trials

Illinois CancerCare Continues to be the Global Leader in Cancer Research

June 15, 2021 – Today Illinois CancerCare announced the enrollment of the first patients in the world on two clinical trials – one for patients with advanced lung cancer and another for patients with advanced kidney cancer. Clinical research trials give patients early access to new promising therapies years before they may be approved for widespread use. Our dedicated research team works hard to ensure that our patients not only have early access to these potentially life-changing treatment options, but many times first access!

The principle investigators for these clinical trials are Gary R. MacVicar, MD and Gregory J. Gerstner, MD.

“For over 40 years, Illinois CancerCare has remained committed to bringing cutting-edge treatment options to our patients in central and western Illinois, through clinical trials,” said MacVicar. “We salute our Illinois CancerCare team of physicians, staff, and especially our research participants who are the real HEROES! They all are significantly contributing to the advancement of cancer research and treatment around the globe!”

The specific studies are:
Merck MK-6482-011 – Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

This clinical trial is testing MK-6482 + lenvatinib in people with a type of kidney cancer called advanced clear cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (ccRCC). The purpose of this study is to determine if this new drug combination can help fight cancer cells and prevent them from returning. MK-6482 is investigational and is not yet approved for use alone and in combination with Lenvatinib. This trial will compare MK-6482 + lenvatinib to cabozantinib (which is a standard approved treatment for ccRCC).

Advanced renal cell carcinoma is the most advanced stage of kidney cancer where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. In these cases, surgery may not be an option. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy clinical trials are giving newfound hope to patients battling this disease. Illinois CancerCare is honored to enroll the first patient in the world in this study as we look to new ways to fight kidney cancer.

Merck MK-7684A-002 – Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

This study is trying to find out whether the investigational combination of the research study drugs MK-7684A (new drug formulation of pembrolizumab with an anti-TIGIT monoclonal antibody) with and without the addition of docetaxel may work to help stop or slow down your NSCLC compared to docetaxel alone. The study is also testing the safety of the combination of MK-7684A and docetaxel when taken together compared to docetaxel alone, and what side effects may occur when taking MK-7684A and docetaxel together.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer. When lung cancer cells return following treatment or spread outside of the lung to another part of the body, it is considered advanced NSCLC. Clinical trials continue to look for a way to slow the spread of this disease, as well as lessen the side effects of treatment, giving our patients a better quality of life as they battle lung cancer.

About Illinois CancerCare

Illinois CancerCare is one of the largest practices in the state of Illinois that treats patients with cancer and blood diseases. It provides state-of-the-art treatments to its patients against these complex diseases by staying at the leading edge of clinical research. Illinois CancerCare is central Illinois’ largest network of cancer care specialists with approximately 100 open clinical cancer research trials being conducted at any given time. The group has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest national standards for quality cancer care. Illinois CancerCare has 15 physicians, 30 APN’s and more than 500 staff members. Illinois CancerCare serves patients with 14 clinic locations throughout central and western Illinois including Bloomington/Normal, Canton, Carthage, Dixon, Eureka, Galesburg, Kewanee, Macomb, Ottawa, Pekin, Peoria, Peru, Princeton and Washington. For further information please visit