A trial looking at radiotherapy to prevent advanced small cell lung cancer spreading to the brain (EORTC 22993 - 08993)

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 3

This trial aimed to find out whether treating the brain with radiotherapy can prevent cancer spread to the brain, or delay it, in people with advanced small cell lung cancer.

Doctors usually treat small cell lung cancer with chemotherapy. Sometimes the cancer can spread (metastasise) to other parts of the body, including the brain.

Earlier trials showed that radiotherapy to the brain could prevent cancer spread in people with limited stage small cell lung cancer. This type of treatment is called prophylactic cranial irradiation, or PCI.

The doctors running this trial wanted to see if radiotherapy to the brain could also be useful in preventing cancer spread in patients with extensive stage small cell lung cancer.

The aim of this trial was to see if radiotherapy can prevent or delay cancer spread to the brain in people with advanced small cell lung cancer.

Summary of results

The trial team found that prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) is useful for preventing advanced small cell lung cancer spreading to the brain.

This trial recruited 287 people

  • Half had radiotherapy to the brain
  • Half didn’t have radiotherapy to the brain– doctors call this the ‘control group Open a glossary item

The researchers looked at whose cancer had spread to the brain about a year after people joined the trial. They found the risk of the cancer spreading to the brain was just over 1 in 10 people (15%) who had had radiotherapy. This compared with 4 in 10 people (40%) in the control group.

They also looked at how many people lived for more than one year after they joined the trial. They found this was just under 3 in 10 people (27%) who had radiotherapy. This compared with just over 1 in 10 people (13%) in the control group.

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) and 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

Professor B J Slotman

Supported by

European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)

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Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle - 270

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

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

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