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 comparing standard dose chemotherapy with high dose chemotherapy for advanced ovarian or fallopian tube cancer (HIDOC EIS)
This trial compared standard dose chemotherapy with high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplants for women with advanced ovarian or fallopian tube cancer.
Doctors usually treat ovarian and fallopian tube cancers with surgery and chemotherapy. But if the cancer has already spread when it is first diagnosed, it can be more difficult to treat. Doctors wanted to find out if higher doses of chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplants were useful for this group of patients. All women taking part had surgery to remove as much of their cancer as possible before chemotherapy.
The aims of the trial were to find out
- Which treatment works better for women who have not had chemotherapy for their advanced cancer before
- More about the side effects
Summary of results
The research team found that having more than one cycle of high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplants were no better than the current standard chemotherapy for advanced ovarian or fallopian tube cancer.
The trial recruited 149 women aged between 20 and 65 after they had had surgery.
- Half had standard chemotherapy
- Half had high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplants with their own cells
The researchers looked at the number of women whose cancer came back, and the number of women who were alive 3 years after treatment. They found that there was no difference between the two groups.
The main side effects both treatments were
- A drop in the number of blood cells
- Feeling and being sick
- Hearing problems
- Neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
The women who had high dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplants had more severe side effects than the women who had standard treatment. Fewer were able to finish their treatment because of this.
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 (
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.
Professor Jonathan Ledermann
European Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Group
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer