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 or ibandronate for pain caused by lung cancer that has spread to the bone (RIB trial)
This trial compared ibandronate with radiotherapy as treatment for pain caused by lung cancer that has spread to the bone. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
Lung cancer can sometimes spread to other areas of the body, including the bone. This is called secondary, or metastatic cancer. Cancer that has spread to the bone can cause pain. The standard treatment at the moment for this type of pain is a single dose of radiotherapy to the affected part of the bone.
There is a group of drugs called bisphosphonates that are also used to help with bone pain. One of these drugs is a drug called ibandronate.
The aim of this trial was to see if ibandronate is as good as radiotherapy at relieving the pain caused by secondary bone cancer.
Summary of results
When this trial started the research team planned to recruit patients with breast, lung and prostate cancer. But they recruited very few people with breast and lung cancer, so it continued as a prostate cancer trial. There won't be any results for breast or lung cancer, but there are some results for prostate cancer.
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 Peter Hoskin
Cancer Research UK
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University College London (UCL)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/02/011.