A study to help people with advanced cancer who are losing weight

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

All cancer types





This study is looking at helping people with advanced cancer and their close friends or relatives to cope with losing weight. The study is for people having treatment to help with cancer symptoms (palliative treatment Open a glossary item).

More about this trial

A side effect of advanced cancer Open a glossary item and its treatment can be weight loss. Severe weight loss is called cachexia. It affects quality of life Open a glossary item and can be difficult to cope with.

In this study, researchers want to find the best way to help people to cope with weight loss. They hope that giving people the right information about severe weight loss will help them to understand and manage their symptoms better.

Everybody taking part will have an educational DVD about severe weight loss to watch at home. And the researchers will ask them to fill in some short questionnaires. The aims of the study are to find out

  • How useful people find the information on the DVD
  • If the information improves the way that people cope emotionally with severe weight loss
  • What close relatives or friends caring for somebody with severe weight loss think about the information

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if all of the following apply. You

  • Have severe weight loss (cachexia)
  • Have access to a DVD player
  • Have a relative or friend who helps you at home and sees you on a regular basis
  • Are at least 18 years old

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You

  • Are having cancer treatment apart from treatment to help with your cancer symptoms (palliative treatment Open a glossary item)
  • Are not living in your own home
  • Do not have access to a DVD player

Trial design

The study team aims to recruit 47 people who have severe weight loss. It is randomised. The people taking part are put into 1 of 2 groups at random. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in.

The study team will ask everybody to fill in some short questionnaires. The questions ask about your experience of losing weight and cancer. You return the questionnaires to the study team in the post.

The people in group 1 will have a DVD to watch at home. This contains information about severe weight loss. 3 weeks later they complete a second set of questionnnaires.

The people in group 2 don’t have the DVD to begin with. They complete the second set of questionnnaires at the same time time as people in group 1. And then they are sent the DVD to watch at home.

At the end of the study, the researchers will interview a close relative or friend of everybody who took part. They will ask them questions about information on the DVD to see how useful it was.

Hospital visits

You will not need to make any extra hospital visits to take part in this study.

Side effects

You may find answering the questions distressing. If you do become distressed, you can move onto the next question. Or say that you no longer wish to take part in the study.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

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.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Joanne Reid

Supported by

All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care
Marie Curie Cancer Care
NI Hospice
Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network
Queen's University Belfast

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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