"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A trial looking at oxaliplatin and 5FU chemotherapy before surgery for cancer of the food pipe
Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.
This trial is looking at a drug called oxaliplatin to shrink cancer of the food pipe (also called the oesophagus or gullet) before surgery.
Doctors normally treat cancer of the food pipe (oesophageal or gullet cancer) with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. If the cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of the body (metastasised), you will have surgery to remove the cancer. Sometimes you may have chemotherapy to shrink the cancer before your operation. This is ‘neoadjuvant chemotherapy’.
Doctors usually use cisplatin and 5FU. But research has shown that another chemotherapy drug called oxaliplatin may be better than cisplatin. It works in the same way as cisplatin but has fewer side effects.
The aims of this trial are to find out
Who can enter
You can enter this trial if you
- Have cancer of the food pipe that can be removed with surgery
- Are due to have chemotherapy before your surgery
- Have satisfactory blood test results
- Are willing to use reliable contraception if there is a chance that you or your partner could become pregnant
- Are 18 years or older
You cannot enter this trial if you
- Have already had chemotherapy for cancer of the food pipe
- Are having treatment as part of another clinical trial
- Have HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C
- Have any other serious illness that may affect the study results
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
On the first day of each cycle you will have oxaliplatin as a drip into a vein through a central line called a PICC line. After that you have 5FU as a continuous
When the 5FU has finished, a nurse will disconnect your infusion pump and take a blood sample. You will then not have any more chemotherapy until the start of the second treatment cycle.
Before you start the trial, you will see the doctor and have some tests. These tests include
- Physical examination
- Height, weight, blood pressure, temperature and pulse
- Performance status
- Blood tests
- Urine test
- Heart trace (
- Taking a small sample of tissue from your cancer (biopsy), if you haven’t had this done already
- CT scan
You will see one of the trials team one week after you have your chemotherapy pump disconnected. They will check how you are getting on.
After both cycles you will see one of the trial team and have
- A blood test
- Physical examination
- Weight, blood pressure, temperature and pulse check
Towards the end of the trial you will have another CT scan.
About 6 to 8 weeks after your chemotherapy has finished you will have your surgery. The research team will store and study samples of the cancer removed, as part of the trial.
The most common side effects of oxaliplatin are
- Feeling very tired (fatigue)
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy)
- Feeling or being sick (nausea and vomiting)
- A drop in blood cells causing increased risk of infection, bleeding or bruising problems, tiredness or shortness of breath
The most common side effects of 5FU are
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.
Prof M Middleton
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust