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 followed by CHART radiotherapy, or CHART radiotherapy alone for non small cell lung cancer (INCH)
This trial was looking at radiotherapy given several times a day ('CHART radiotherapy'), with or without chemotherapy, to see which works best for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
CHART stands for Continuous Hyperfractionated Accelerated Radio Therapy. You have radiotherapy 3 times a day for 12 days in a row (including weekends), instead of once a day, five days a week (Monday to Friday) for several weeks.
We know from research that CHART is useful for treating some patients with NSCLC. Researchers wanted to find out if having chemotherapy before CHART would give better results in people with NSCLC.
The aim of this trial was to compare chemotherapy and CHART to CHART alone, to see which was better at treating non small cell lung cancer.
Summary of results
This trial did not recruit as well as the researchers had hoped. And so they closed it to recruitment early. And for that reason they could not make any definite conclusions. But they thought the results did suggest that giving chemotherapy before CHART might help people with non small cell lung cancer. And a further study should be done to find out.
The most common side effects reported were tiredness, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and problems swallowing. Overall there were not many side effects reported and half the people reported only having mild side effects.
People who had chemotherapy before CHART, on average lived for 8 months more than people who had CHART only. However only 46 people took part in this trial, so the researchers felt the numbers were too small to make any definite conclusions. But think that further studies are needed to assess the use of chemotherapy and CHART to treat people with NSCLC.
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 Matthew Hatton
Cancer Research UK
Medical Research Council (MRC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/05/009.