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 radiotherapy and a new treatment for bladder cancer (Bladder Arcon - BCON)
This trial was looking at radiotherapy with or without carbogen and nicotinamide tablets for bladder cancer that had spread into the muscle (locally advanced). This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
Cancer cells are more likely to be killed by radiotherapy if they have plenty of oxygen. The treatment used in this trial was trying to increase the amount of oxygen available to cancer cells. The researchers hoped that this would help to stop the cancer from coming back.
This treatment involved taking nicotinamide tablets and using a breathing apparatus called the carbogen breathing system, for a few minutes before and during each radiotherapy treatment.
The aims of this trial were to find out
- How well having carbogen and nicotinamide with radiotherapy worked
- What the side effects were
Summary of results
The trial team found that there was a significant benefit in adding carbogen and nicotinamide to radiotherapy treatment for people with locally advanced bladder cancer.
Of the 333 people this trial recruited, 327 went on to have treatment
- 163 had radiotherapy only
- 164 had radiotherapy with carbogen and nicotinamide
When the researchers compared the average time people lived it was
- 30 months for those who had radiotherapy only
- 54 months for those who had radiotherapy with carbogen and nicotinamide
While having radiotherapy with carbogen and nicotinamide the most common side effects were
- Feeling or being, sick
- Feeling that you need to pass urine more often than normal
When the researchers compared the long term side effects of both treatments they found them to be about the same.
The research team concluded that adding carbogen and nicotinamide to radiotherapy was beneficial for people with locally advanced bladder cancer. And the side effects were very similar to having radiotherapy only.
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.
Professor Peter Hoskin
Cancer Research UK
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/01/003.