A study looking at how your body make up may affect chemotherapy (CANDO-2)

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

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





This study is looking at how your body make up (body composition) may affect how your cancer responds to chemotherapy and how bad the side effects may be. The study is open to women who have early breast cancer.

Doctors can treat early breast cancer with chemotherapy. Like all treatments, chemotherapy has side effects. We know that some people get more severe side effects than others and that chemotherapy works better for some people than others. We aren’t sure why this is, but the amount of muscle, blood and fatty tissue in your body (your body make up) may have something to do with it.

Doctors work out how much chemotherapy to give by using your height and weight only. They don’t take into consideration your body make up. The researchers think that knowing and using your body make up to work out how much chemotherapy to give may be better and also reduce the side effects.

In this study, your doctor will work out how much chemotherapy to give using your height and weight. The researchers will use special scales to find out what your body make up is.

The aims of this study are to find out

  • If it is possible to use these scales to work out how much chemotherapy to give
  • If this way of working out how much chemotherapy to give is more accurate and if it reduces the side effects

Taking part in this study won’t change your treatment but the information collected may help people in the future who have chemotherapy.

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if you are a woman going to the breast clinic at the University Hospital Southampton and all of the following apply. You

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

  • Have breast cancer that has spread to another part of your body (stage 4)
  • Have had another cancer apart from non melanoma skin cancer
  • Have any other medical condition or mental health problem that the study team thinks could affect you taking part in this study

Trial design

This is a pilot study. The team need 36 women who are going to the breast clinic at University Hospital Southampton to join.

Your doctor will work out how much chemotherapy to give using your height and weight.

Before each chemotherapy treatment, the study team will measure your body make up (composition) using a machine called a SECA body analysis machine. It looks like a big set of digital weighing scales. It takes detailed measurements of your body make up.

You take off your shoes and socks before stepping into the machine. The research nurse will show you where to place your feet and will ask you to hold on to 2 hand grips. You need to stand still for just over a minute (75 seconds) while the machine takes some measurements. You won’t feel any discomfort while the measurements are being taken.

The research nurse will also measure your height and waist size, and test your grip strength.

To find out more about the side effects of chemotherapy, the team will ask you to fill out a few questionnaires before you start treatment, during treatment and after you finish treatment. The questionnaire will ask about side effects and how you’ve been feeling. This is called a quality of life study.

The researchers will also ask for a sample of your cancer that was removed when you had surgery or a biopsy Open a glossary item. And they will ask for an extra blood sample on one occasion when you have your routine bloods done. They will use these samples to look at the level of proteins and nutrients.

Hospital visits

There are no extra hospital visits if you take part in the study.

Side effects

There are no side effects to taking part in this study.

We have information about the side effects of breast cancer chemotherapy.

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 Ellen Copson

Supported by

Breast Cancer Campaign
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
University of Southampton

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.

Deborah wanted to help other breast cancer patients in the future

A picture of Deborah

“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."

Last reviewed:

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