Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study looking at different dressings after surgery for soft tissue sarcoma (SUNstudy)
This trial compared 2 dressings to cover wounds after surgery. It was for people who had an operation to remove soft tissue sarcoma at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary hospital.
The trial was open for people to join between 2016 and 2020. The team published the results in 2021.
More about this trial
Surgery is one of the main treatments for soft tissue sarcoma. After removing the cancer, the surgeon closes the wound with stitches and covers it with a dressing.
When this trial was done, some surgeons used a standard absorbent dressing to cover the wound. Others used a dressing attached to a small vacuum pump. This is called a negative pressure dressing.
The research team wanted to find out which type of dressing is better at preventing problems such as infection.
The main aim of this trial was to find out which dressing is best to use after surgery to remove soft tissue sarcoma.
Summary of results
This trial was for people due to have an operation to remove an area of soft tissue sarcoma. They were put into 1 of 2 treatment groups at random.
Doctors used standard absorbent dressings for people in one group. And negative pressure dressings for people in the other group. The research team looked at the number of people in each group who developed an infection after the operation.
A total of 17 people joined this study. This is fewer than the research team were hoping. This was due to changes in the department where the trial was taking place.
The people taking part were put into 1 of 2 groups:
- 7 had their wound dressed with a standard absorbent dressing
- 10 had their wound dressed with a negative pressure dressing
The research team looked at the number of people who had a wound infection within 30 days of their operation. They found it was it was similar in the two groups:
- 2 out of 7 people (29%) who had the standard absorbent dressing
- 2 out of 10 people (20%) who had the negative pressure dressing
There is a small difference between the two groups. But it is too small to know whether it is due the difference in the wound dressings or not. It could be due to chance.
The research team concluded that it would be useful to do larger study to compare these two types of dressings. They hope that will help them decide how useful negative pressure dressings are for people having surgery for soft tissue sarcoma.
More detailed information
There is more information about this research in the reference below.
Please note, this article is not in plain English. It has been written for health care professionals and researchers.
Closed incision negative pressure wound therapy versus conventional dressings following soft-tissue sarcoma excision: a prospective, randomized controlled trial
D Shields and others
Bone and Joint, 2021. Volume 2, Number 12.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. This 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.
Mr Ashish Mahendra
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
You can read more information about this study on the following website: https://www.sunstudy.co.uk/