Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study comparing having paclitaxel chemotherapy at home or in hospital for advanced breast or ovarian cancer (Care-in-Chemo, or C-in-C study)
This study looked at the possibility of having chemotherapy at home instead of in hospital. It was open to people with locally advanced breast cancer or advanced ovarian cancer.
People with cancer almost always have chemotherapy in hospital. But it may be possible for some of these people to have some types of chemotherapy at home.
The researchers looked at
- What affect it had on quality of life
- What people thought about having chemotherapy at home
- The cost of treatment
The aim of this study was to find out more about the impact of having chemotherapy at home compared to in hospital.
Summary of results
The study team found that when given the choice, nearly half the people asked would prefer to have chemotherapy at home.
The researchers interviewed 60 people who were having chemotherapy at the hospital. Of these people, 9 didn’t know what their first choice would be. Nearly half of the rest said their first choice would be to have it at home.
The study team said that these findings are in line with other studies that show between 50 and 75 people out of every 100 (50 to 75%) would choose to have treatment at home.
People gave varied reasons for wanting to have chemotherapy at home. The reasons given were influenced by the individuals’ personality, their age, state of health and home situation. For people living alone, going to the hospital gave them some social support during their treatment.
The problems identified with having chemotherapy at home included not being able to depend on the time the nurse arrived and the poor management of processing the blood tests before the nurse can give chemotherapy.
The study team could not find a clear answer as to whether the costs were lower. But they did find that the way the costs were spread out was different depending on where people had their treatment. They also found there were extra costs not related to treatment, for example car parking.
The study team concluded that people having chemotherapy had different needs, abilities, family situations and preferences.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor Hilary Thomas
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
University of Surrey