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 treatment for non Hodgkin lymphoma
Doctors often treat non Hodgkin lymphoma with radiotherapy. All cancer treatment has side effects, and doctors are aware that problems can be caused by giving too much treatment as well as by giving too little.
The aim of the trial was to find out if a lower dose of radiotherapy was better than the standard dose and caused fewer side effects.
Summary of results
The trial team found that there was no difference between the lower dose of radiotherapy and the standard dose for treating non Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).
This trial recruited 998 people. It was a randomised trial. The people taking part were put into 1 of 2 groups. The groups were those having
- Standard dose of radiotherapy
- Lower dose of radiotherapy
If their NHL was in more than 1 area of the body, the trial team were allowed to randomise these people again. This is because they could have radiotherapy to more than 1 area of the body. This happened to 3 people. So the total number of results the trial team looked at was 1,001.
Of the 1,001 results the trial team looked at
- For 783 there was no sign of NHL –
- In 95 the NHL had got smaller –
- In 75 the NHL had stayed the same or got worse
- 7 could not be assessed
- In 27 the results were missing
Ten people didn’t have radiotherapy and sadly 4 people died from their NHL.
The trial team found no significant difference between the side effects of the 2 groups, apart from reddening or darkening of the skin in the treatment area. This was less for people who had the lower dose of radiotherapy.
The trial team concluded that a lower dose of radiotherapy was as good as the standard dose of radiotherapy for treating non Hodgkin lymphoma.
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.
Prof Peter Hoskin
Haematology Trials Group
Lymphoma Research Trust
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer