A trial looking at central lines for long term chemotherapy (CAVA)

Cancer type:

All cancer types





This trial is comparing different types of central lines that doctors use to give long term chemotherapy.

You can have chemotherapy as an injection into a vein. This is fine for short term treatment. But when you have long term chemotherapy your doctor may suggest having a tube put in that can stay in for a long time. It means that you won’t need to have a needle put into your arm each time you have treatment.

These are generally called central lines Open a glossary item. There are 3 types of central line doctors can use

Both the central line and portacath go into your body through a large vein in the centre of your chest. The PICC line goes into a vein in your arm.

Most hospitals use all 3 types of central lines. But they don’t know which is the best or cheapest to use. The researchers want to find this out by comparing them.

Taking part in this trial will not affect any treatment you have.

Who can enter

You may be able to join this trial if all of the following apply.

  • You have any type of cancer
  • You will be having an anti cancer drug for 3 months or more
  • Your doctor is not sure if a tunnelled central line, PICC line or portacath is the best to use
  • You are able to have either a tunnelled central line, PICC line or portacath put in
  • You are at least 18 years old

You cannot join this trial if any of these apply.

  • You have had a tunnelled central line, PICC line or portacath that was removed within the past 2 weeks due to a complication, for example an infection
  • Your doctor wants to use your central line to collect stems cells
  • If your doctor isn’t able to put the central line into a large vein in your upper arm or chest
  • If you have an infection
  • You have already taken part in this trial

Trial design

The researchers need 2,000 people to join this trial.

There are 4 groups in this trial. Your doctor will talk to you about this. When you know which group you are in, a computer will decide which type of central line you will have. This is called randomisation.

People in group 1 will have either a tunnelled central line or a PICC line.

People in group 2 will have either a tunnelled central line or portacath.

People in group 3 will have either a PICC line or portacath.

People in group 4 will have either a tunnelled central line or PICC line or portacath.

You have your treatment as your doctor has planned.

The trial team will look at your medical notes to find out information about your cancer, treatment and the central line that you have in place.

The trial team will ask you to fill out 2 questionnaires before you have your central line put in and then the same questionnaires plus an additional one every month until you have it removed. The questionnaires will ask about side effects, how you’ve been feeling and what you think about the central line. This is called a quality of life study.

At the end of the study the researchers may ask you to take part in a group to talk about your experience and views of having the central line in. You don’t have to be part of the group if you don’t want to.

Hospital visits

There are no extra hospital visits, unless you choose to take part in the group. This will take place at the hospital.

Side effects

We have information about the general side effects of cancer drugs.


Newcastle upon Tyne

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 Jon Moss

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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