A trial looking at treatment for children and young people with low grade glioma brain tumours (SIOP – LGG 2004 CNS 2004 03)

Cancer type:

Brain (and spinal cord) tumours
Children's cancers

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 3

This trial looked at adding etoposide to the standard chemotherapy treatment for children and young people with a type of brain tumour called low grade glioma. 

It was for children and young people, up to the age of 16, who had a low grade tumour. A low grade tumour means that it usually grows very slowly. 

Cancer Research UK supported this trial.

More about this trial

Children and young people who have a low grade glioma usually have surgery to remove their tumour. But an operation isn’t always possible, or sometimes the tumour grows back after surgery. 
 
When this happens, they usually have treatment with the following chemotherapy drugs:
This is the standard treatment. Open a glossary item
 
In this trial, doctors wanted to find out the best way to treat children and young people with low grade glioma. They wanted to see if adding a chemotherapy drug called etoposide, to the standard chemotherapy treatment, was better at stopping the cancer from growing.

Summary of results

The research team concluded that adding etoposide to the standard treatment does not help children and young people with low grade glioma. 
 
This was an international phase 3 trial. 497 children and young people with low grade glioma and who were having chemotherapy for the first time took part. 
 
This was a randomised trial. Everyone was put into 1 of the following treatment groups by computer:
  • 249 children and young people had vincristine and carboplatin (VC group)
  • 248 children and young people had vincristine, carboplatin and etoposide (VCE group)
Neither they nor their doctor could choose which group they were in.
CNS 2004 03 trial diagram
After around 24 weeks of the start of treatment, people had a scan to see how well the treatment was working. 
 
The research team looked at the scan results for 211 children and young people from the VC group. They found that in:
  • 3 children the cancer disappeared (complete response Open a glossary item)
  • 59 children the cancer shrunk to at least half the size (partial response Open a glossary item)
  • 36 children the cancer shrunk to at least a third, but no more than half the size (improvement)
  • 98 children the cancer stayed the same (stable disease Open a glossary item)
  • 15 children the cancer got worse (disease progression Open a glossary item)
The team also looked at the scan results for 210 children and young people from the VCE group. They found that in:
  • 3 children the cancer disappeared
  • 50 children the cancer shrunk to at least half the size
  • 33 children the cancer shrunk to at least a third, but no more than half the size
  • 106 children the cancer stayed the same
  • 18 children the cancer got worse 
The team looked at the number of children and young people who were alive after 5 years. They found that almost 9 in every 10 people (89%) were alive after 5 years, in both groups. 
 
The trial team also looked at the most common side effects people had, in both groups. They found that there were more infections Open a glossary item in the VCE group. The VC group had more cases of allergic reactions to the treatment. 
 
So, the team concluded that adding etoposide to the standard treatment does not help children and young people with low grade glioma. They think more research should be done to look at the length of time children and young people have chemotherapy for.    
 
We have based this summary on information from the research team. 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 who did the research. 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 Sue Picton
Prof David Walker

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK Children's Cancer Trials Team
University of Birmingham
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/05/012.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

505

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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