A trial looking at radiotherapy and gemcitabine for people with bladder cancer

Cancer type:

Bladder cancer
Transitional cell cancer




Phase 2

This trial was looking at radiotherapy and gemcitabine (Gemzar) chemotherapy for invasive bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer that has grown into the muscle layer is called invasive bladder cancer. Doctors usually treat this with surgery to remove all or part of the bladder (a radical or partial cystectomy), or with radiotherapy. They sometimes give chemotherapy after surgery or radiotherapy.

Doctors think that chemotherapy and radiotherapy together (called chemo radiation) may be useful for treating invasive bladder cancer. But they are not sure yet how well this will work.

In this trial, people had radiotherapy and gemcitabine. The aim of the trial was to see how well this treatment works for invasive bladder cancer.

Summary of results

The trial team found that giving radiotherapy and gemcitabine together worked well to treat people with invasive bladder cancer.

Everyone taking part in the trial had radiotherapy and gemcitabine. The trial recruited 50 people. Everyone completed their radiotherapy, but only 46 people completed their gemcitabine. Side effects to the bowel was the reason the 4 people did not complete the chemotherapy.

Of the 47 people examined after their treatment, 44 (88%) had no sign of the cancer in their bladder. This is called a complete response Open a glossary item. The remaining 3 people had some cancer left on the lining of the bladder. This is called superficial disease.

The researchers followed the progress of the 50 people in the trial for an average of 3 years. After this time, 36 were still alive and 32 of these still had the use of their bladder. The other 4 had had their bladder removed, 3 because their cancer came back and one because of treatment side effects.

The researchers believe that the results of this trial call for a larger phase 3 trial looking at radiotherapy and gemcitabine to treat invasive bladder cancer.

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 (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) but may not have been published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

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 Richard Cowan

Supported by

National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
Royal Preston Hospitals NHS Trust
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle - 431

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

Last reviewed:

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