Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study looking at a way of working out who may have sickness as a side effect of chemotherapy (DRIP)
This study looked into developing a tool that could tell health professionals who may have sickness as a side effect of chemotherapy.
Many chemotherapy drugs can make you feel or be sick. But this varies from person to person. Before you have chemotherapy, doctors are not able to tell if you will have sickness as a side effect or how bad it may be. If they knew this, they could give you the anti sickness medicine that is best for you, before treatment.
The aims of this study were to
- Develop a tool that health professionals could use to tell who may have sickness as a side effect of chemotherapy and how bad it may be
- Test this tool
Summary of results
The study team developed and tested a tool that could help health professionals tell who may have sickness as a side effect of chemotherapy and how bad it may be.
This study recruited 336 people who had chemotherapy for the first time and had at least 3 cycles of treatment. The researchers then put everyone into 1 of 2 groups.
In the first group there were 285 people. In this group the researchers looked at factors that might affect how sick people were during chemotherapy.
In the second group there were 51 people. The researchers tested what they found out from group 1 to see how well it predicted sickness.
Everyone filled in 3 questionnaires before starting chemotherapy. They were asked
- About other times they had felt or been sick (such as during pregnancy, travel sickness or when eating certain foods)
- About their cancer symptoms
- If they thought chemotherapy would make them sick
- How worried they felt
Everyone also filled in a questionnaire after their 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles of chemotherapy. This questionnaire asked if they had felt or been sick after each cycle.
The researchers found that the main factors affecting chemotherapy related sickness included
- Age – younger people were more likely to be or feel sick
- Whether other things tended to make them feel or be sick
- How worried they were about having chemotherapy
- Tiredness (fatigue)
They also found that the risk of being or feeling sick was lower after the 2nd cycle of chemotherapy. The results showed that it may also be lower after the 3rd cycle, but this finding could have happened by chance (it was not
The study team concluded that their tool could help health professionals decide who may have sickness as a side effect of chemotherapy and how bad it may be.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. As far as we are aware, the information they sent us has not been reviewed independently (
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.
Prof Alexander Molassiotis
Sharp & Dohme
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
University of Manchester