A trial of different doses of radiotherapy with chemotherapy for non small cell lung cancer (IDEAL-CRT)

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

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer




Phase 1/2

This trial is looking at different doses of radiotherapy for people having radiotherapy with chemotherapy for non small cell lung cancer. This trial is supported by Cancer Research UK.

Doctors may use a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat non small cell lung cancer. Having both treatments together is called chemoradiation.

If you have chemoradiation, cisplatin and vinorelbine are 2 chemotherapy drugs that doctors often use. You usually have radiotherapy as daily treatments over about 6 and a half weeks.

We know from research that having a higher overall dose of radiotherapy can work better, but it may cause more side effects. Researchers want to learn more about giving a higher dose over a shorter period of time.

In this trial everybody will have cisplatin and vinorelbine. But the doctors will work out the dose of radiotherapy on an individual basis. You have radiotherapy over 5 weeks instead of 6 and a half.

The aim of the trial is to see if it is possible to work out the highest safe dose of radiotherapy on an individual basis. If it is, the researchers may look at this in larger trials.

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you

  • Have been diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer that is stage 2 or 3
  • Have chosen not to have surgery to remove your cancer, or the lung cancer multi disciplinary team thinks you cannot have surgery, or that chemoradiation is a suitable treatment option for you
  • Are well enough to carry out all your normal activities, apart from heavy physical work (performance status of 0 or 1)
  • Have satisfactory results from blood tests and breathing tests (lung function tests)
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are willing to use reliable contraception during the trial and for a year afterwards if there is any chance you could become pregnant

You cannot enter this trial if you

  • Have already had surgery to remove all or part of a lung (pneumonectomy or lobectomy)
  • Have already had radiotherapy to your chest
  • Have already had chemotherapy
  • Have a tumour at the top of your lung so that a group of nerves called the brachial plexus would be within the area of radiotherapy
  • Have either a lobe of a lung, or a whole lung that has collapsed
  • Have had another cancer, apart from carcinoma in situ of the cervix, non melanoma skin cancer or any other cancer that has not caused symptoms or needed treatment in the last 3 years
  • Have another serious medical condition such as long term liver or kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure that cannot be controlled with medication or an infection, or if the trial doctor thinks there is too high a risk of complications for you
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trial design

Everybody taking part in this trial will have radiotherapy and chemotherapy. You have radiotherapy every day from Monday to Friday for 5 weeks. On one day a week, you have radiotherapy twice.

On the 1st or 2nd day of radiotherapy, you have vinorelbine and cisplatin through a drip into a vein. You have some extra fluid through the drip before and after the chemotherapy drugs. So the treatment takes about 6 or 7 hours all together. A week later, you have vinorelbine alone which only takes a few minutes. You have chemotherapy in the same way again starting on the 22nd and or 29th day of your radiotherapy.

Hospital visits

You will see the doctors and have some tests before you start treatment. The tests include

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan, PET scan or PET-CT scan
  • Chest X-ray
  • Tests to see how well your lungs are working (lung function tests)
  • Heart trace (ECG)

You go to the radiotherapy department at the hospital twice to have your radiotherapy planned. Then you go to hospital every day from Monday to Friday for 5 weeks to have your radiotherapy. On one day per week during the 5 weeks, you have radiotherapy twice with a gap of 6 hours between the treatments.  You will be at the hospital for longer on the 4 days that you have chemotherapy.

You see the trial doctor at least once a week during treatment. And you have a blood test before each chemotherapy treatment.

After you finish radiotherapy, you see the trial doctors

  • Once a week for the first month
  • Once a month for the next 5 months, then
  • Every 3 months until 2 years after treatment
  • Every 6 months in the following year
  • Once a year after that

You have chest X-rays after 1 month, 3 months, 1 year, 18 months and 2 years. And CT scans after 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years.

Side effects

The side effects of having chemotherapy and radiotherapy for lung cancer include

  • Soreness when swallowing
  • Tiredness (fatigue)
  • Red skin in the treatment area
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Cough
  • Breathlessness
  • Inflammation of the lung (pneumonitis)

Very rarely, radiotherapy can cause damage to the spinal cord. If this happens, it can cause weakness or loss of sensation in your legs. There is also a possibility that a higher dose of radiotherapy can cause bleeding in the lung.

We have more information about the side effects of chest radiotherapy, cisplatin and vinorelbine.

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 David Landau

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University College London (UCL)

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/09/010.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 3356

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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