A trial looking at paclitaxel, cisplatin and gemcitabine for cancer of the urinary system (EORTC 30987)

Cancer type:

Bladder cancer
Kidney cancer
Transitional cell cancer




Phase 3

This trial looked at adding paclitaxel to cisplatin and gemcitabine chemotherapy for cancer of the bladder, urethra, ureter or kidney. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.

Doctors often treat cancers of the urinary system with surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy or immunotherapy into the bladder.

Sometimes the cancer is more difficult to treat because it has already grown outside the urinary system (locally advanced) or spread somewhere else in the body (metastatic). If this happens, you may have chemotherapy. Cisplatin and gemcitabine are 2 drugs that doctors often use.

In this trial, the researchers wanted to see if adding another drug called paclitaxel helped.

The aim of the trial was to see if having all 3 drugs worked better than just having cisplatin and gemcitabine for locally advanced or metastatic cancer of the urinary system.

Summary of results

Initial results showed that the cancer had shrunk or disappeared in more people who had all 3 drugs than in people who had just 2.

627 patients took part in the trial. Over 3 quarters of them had bladder cancer. Half the people taking part had gemcitabine and cisplatin. Half had gemcitabine, cisplatin and paclitaxel.

With the 2 drug combination, the cancer responded in 46 out of every 100 people treated (46%). In 10% of people, all signs of cancer had disappeared (a complete response).

With the 3 drug combination, the cancer responded in 57 out of every 100 people treated (57%). In 15%, all signs of cancer had disappeared (complete response).

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 (peer reviewed) but may not have been published in a medical journal. Any figures we mention above were provided by the trial team. 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 Michael Leahy

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/02/001.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 128

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

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

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