A trial to see if a carbohydrate can help reduce bowel problems after radiotherapy for prostate, womb or cervical cancer (The PRESident Study)

Cancer type:

Cervical cancer
Prostate cancer
Womb (uterine or endometrial) cancer

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 2/3

This trial was looking at whether a carbohydrate called fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) could help reduce bowel problems after radiotherapy for prostate cancer or gynaecological cancer.  

Unfortunately, if part of the bowel is in the area treated with radiotherapy, it can become inflamed causing diarrhoea, bleeding and discomfort or pain. For most people these symptoms go away within a few weeks of finishing radiotherapy. But for some people they can be more long term. Doctors call this chronic radiation enteritis.

Sometimes, chronic radiation enteritis can get worse over time. Researchers thought that encouraging healthy bacteria to grow in the bowel may help to control chronic radiation enteritis.

FOS is a natural carbohydrate found in many foods. It stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria in the bowel and is called a prebiotic. In a small trial, FOS had changed the number of healthy bacteria in people with inflammation of the bowel. And this had improved their symptoms.

The aim of this trial was to find out if FOS could reduce bowel problems after radiotherapy for prostate cancer or gynaecological cancer.

Summary of results

Unfortunately, many of the people that the researchers had planned to enrol into this study could not take part. This was because they were unexpectedly following treatment plans that didn’t allow the use of prebiotics.  So the trial could not be completed.

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

Prof Alastair Forbes

Supported by

Beneo Orafti
University College London (UCL)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 9319

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

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think