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 treatment for Ewing's sarcoma family of tumours (Euro Ewing 2012)
This trial is looking at treatment for the Ewing’s sarcoma family of tumours. Cancer Research UK supports this study.
This study is for both adults and children. We use the term ‘you’ in this summary, but of course if you are a parent, we are referring to your child.
More about this trial
Treatment for the
This is to shrink the cancer before having surgery. If the doctor can’t completely remove your sarcoma with surgery, you may also have radiotherapy.
As with any cancer there is a risk that your sarcoma may come back or start to grow again. To try and reduce this risk doctors give more chemotherapy after surgery.
In this trial the researchers want to compare VIDE with VDC/IE to find out which is best to use before surgery. They also want to compare different types of chemotherapy after surgery to find out which is the best.
Who can enter
You may be able to join this trial if all of the following apply.
- You have been diagnosed with either Ewing’s sarcoma, primitive neuroectodermal tumour, soft tissue Ewing’s tumour or Askin tumour
- Your doctor feels you are fit enough to take part in the trial
- You are willing to use reliable contraception during treatment and for a year afterwards if you are a woman, or 6 months afterwards if you are a man
- You are between 2 and 50 years old
You cannot join this trial if any of these apply.
- You have already had treatment for your cancer, apart from surgery
- You have another type of cancer
- You are not able to have any of the drugs used in this trial
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
This is an international phase 3 trial. The researchers need about 600 people to join the trial.
There are 2 parts in this trial. After the 1st part of the trial, if you don’t want to continue with the 2nd part you don’t have to.
Before starting treatment, you have a central line put in. This is a plastic tube that goes into a large vein near your heart. You have your drugs through it and blood samples can be taken from it.
The first part of this trial is randomised
- People in group A have vincristine, ifosfamide, doxorubicin and etoposide (VIDE)
- People in group B have vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, ifosfamide and etoposide (VDC/IE)
They will then look at the risk of your sarcoma coming back or starting to grow again and put you into groups. If your sarcoma was small to start with and responded well to chemotherapy, you will be in the standard risk group. If your sarcoma was large and didn’t respond as well to chemotherapy, you will be in the high risk group.
If your sarcoma has already spread to your lungs, you will be in another group.
The second part of this trial is also randomised. You will be randomised to have chemotherapy with zoledronic acid or without zoledronic acid.
Those who had VIDE in the first part of the trial will have one of the following.
If you are in the standard risk group, you have either
- Vincristine, actinomycin D, cyclophosphamide and zoledronic acid
- Vincristine, actinomycin D and cyclophosphamide
For your 1st treatment only you will have ifosfamide instead of cyclophosphamide.
If you are in the high risk group, or your sarcoma has spread to the lungs, you have either
- Vincristine, actinomycin D and ifosfamide and zoledronic acid
- Vincristine, actinomycin D and ifosfamide
Those who had VDC/IE in the first part of the trial will have one of the following
- Ifosfamide, etoposide, vincristine, cyclophosphamide and zoledronic acid
- Ifosfamide, etoposide, vincristine and cyclophosphamide
If you agree to take part in this trial, the researchers will ask for a sample of your cancer,
You see the doctor to have some tests before taking part in this trial. These tests include
- A physical examination
- Blood tests
- A small tissue sample (
biopsy) of your sarcoma
- Bone marrow test
- CT scan, MRI scan, PET-CT scan, bone scan or x-ray (your doctor will decide which of these you need to have)
- Heart scan (
You have a physical examination and blood tests after each treatment of chemotherapy. You have the scan and heart scan as needed. You have another bone marrow test done if your sacoma had alredy spread to the bone marrow when you joined the study.
At the end of treatment you have a MRI scan and another 6 months later if needed.
After treatment your doctor will tell you how often they need to see you.
The most common side effects of the drugs used in this trial are
- Hair loss
- Feeling or being sick
- A drop in blood cells causing an increased risk of infection, bruising and bleeding
- Sore mouth
- Tummy (abdominal) pain
- Loss of appetite
- Aches and pains in the legs
- Changes to the way your kidneys, liver, heart and lungs works
- Rash or reddening of the skin
- Muscle and joint pain
- Swelling of your hands, feet and ankles
Your doctor will talk to you about the possible side effects before you agree to take part in the trial.
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Bernadette Brennan
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Birmingham
This is Cancer Research UK number CRUK/11/050.