A study looking at giving men with prostate cancer a DVD/video on treatment for prostate cancer and the possibility of a study comparing 2 different treatments for prostate cancer (SABRE1)

Cancer type:

Prostate cancer





This study looked at giving men with prostate cancer a DVD/video to help them decide which treatment to have. And to find out if a study comparing radical prostatectomy with brachytherapy to the prostate could be done. This trial was for men whose prostate cancer was only in their prostate and hadn’t spread (localised prostate cancer). This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.

When men are diagnosed with prostate cancer their doctor will discuss treatments that are available to them. They are also given written information to take home on prostate cancer and its treatment, to help them decide which treatment is best for them.

Half the men in this study had written material on prostate cancer and treatment. The other half had a DVD/video on prostate cancer and its treatment, as well as the written material. The researchers wanted to see if this helped them in deciding on treatment.

Two possible treatments for prostate cancer are surgery (radical prostatectomy) and internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy). Very few studies have been done comparing their benefits. This study also wanted to find out if it was practical to set up another study to compare these 2 treatments.

This study aimed to find out

  • If the DVD/video helped men to choose which treatment to have
  • If a study comparing radical prostatectomy and brachytherapy to the prostate could be done

Summary of results

The trial team found that they couldn’t recruit enough men to compare information about prostate cancer treatment and then compare the treatments they had.  

There were 2 steps to this trial. It was a randomised trial. In both steps the men were put into groups by a computer. Neither they nor their doctor could choose which group they were in.

In the 1st step the groups were those who had

  • Treatment information on a DVD/video and in written form
  • Written information only

In the 2nd step the men were randomised to have a radical prostatectomy or brachytherapy.

The team hoped to recruit 400 men. After 2 years the trial had recruited 30 men into the 1st step (15 men in each group). And 4 of these 30 men continued on to the 2nd step.

There were 2 main reasons men gave for not wanting to take part in trial. The reasons were

  • That they wanted to choose their treatment
  • Wanting to have their prostate cancer actively monitored instead of having treatment straight away

When the trial steering committee reviewed the progress of the trial, they decided to close it early due to poor recruitment.

The trial team concluded that it wasn’t possible to do a trial for men with prostate cancer using this 2 step recruitment approach.     

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 Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote 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 David Bottomley

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Department of Health
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
University of Southampton Clinical Trials Unit

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/07/022.

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 1004

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

Keith took part in a trial looking into hormone therapy

A picture of Keith

"Health wise I am feeling great. I am a big supporter of trials - it allows new treatments and drugs to be brought in.”

Last reviewed:

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