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 trial looking at chemotherapy after surgery for colorectal cancer (QUASAR 1)
This trial looked at
Surgery is usually the first treatment for bowel cancer. Some people also have chemotherapy. Doctors thought that this reduced the risk of the cancer coming back, but they were not sure.
Summary of results
The research team found that chemotherapy could reduce the risk of cancer coming back in people with stage 2 or 3 bowel cancer.
The trial recruited 3,239 people who had bowel cancer that had been completely removed with surgery. Most people taking part had stage 2 bowel cancer. Half the people had chemotherapy, the other half did not (the
When they did their analysis in 2007, the researchers found that cancer had come back in
- 293 people in the chemotherapy group
- 359 in the control group
People in the chemotherapy group had more diarrhoea, sickness, sore mouth, loss of appetite and fatigue than the control group, but only during the time they were having chemotherapy.
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.
Dr David Kerr
Cancer Research UK
Medical Research Council (MRC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer