"I now know how cancer can strike anyone whatever their situation or circumstance. I hope by taking part in a trial it will help others in my position in the future.”
A study looking at how useful CT scans are in the long term follow up of men with non seminoma testicular cancer
More about this trial
Many men who have treatment for testicular cancer are cured, even when their cancer has spread elsewhere in the body (advanced cancer). However, doctors have noticed that the cancer comes back (recurs) in a small number of men after their initial treatment.
At the moment, men have regular follow up appointments after their treatment has finished. For the first year or two these may be every few months, followed by every year. At these appointments a doctor will examine them and they will have blood tests for tumour markers. If the testicular cancer comes back, it is still possible to treat and cure it. But the chances of a cure are better if the recurrence is picked up as early as possible. Doctors think that recurrent testicular cancers grow back very slowly and so occasional CT scans may pick up recurrence early enough.
This trial will follow a group of men who have had treatment for their testicular cancer over 5 years ago. It aims to find out
- How many men have a cancer that has come back
- If a CT scan is useful in picking up these recurrent cancers earlier than normal follow up appointments
Who can enter
You can enter this trial if you
- Had non seminoma testicular cancer that was stage 2, 3 or 4 and your treatment finished between 5 and 10 years ago
- Have had a CT scan following your chemotherapy that showed no signs of cancer and this CT scan was at least 3 years ago
- Are willing to go to hospital for 5 years of follow up appointments
You cannot enter this trial if you cannot have a CT scan due to medical reasons.
This study will aim to recruit 300 men who have had treatment for non seminoma testicular cancer at one of the recruiting hospitals.
If you take part, you will go to hospital to have a CT scan. For the scan, you will lie on a bed and pass through the arch of the scanner. You may have an injection of dye in to a vein in your hand before your scan to help the doctor see your lymph glands more clearly. The scan will take about 20 minutes.
If the scan is normal and shows no signs of cancer, you will have follow up appointments for the next 5 years, usually every year. At these appointments a doctor will examine you and you will have blood tests for tumour markers. A rise in the level of tumour markers may be a sign that the testicular cancer has come back. You will have these follow up appointments whether you take part in this study, or not.
After 5 years, you may be invited to have a second CT scan, as part of this study.
If the scan shows anything abnormal that may be a sign of cancer, your consultant will discuss further investigations and treatments with you.
As a result of taking part in this study, you may have an extra visit to hospital to have your CT scan. Or it may be arranged for you to have a CT scan at your next routine appointment. This could be any time up to a year after you agree to take part. You will be sent your appointment for your CT scan in the post.
Having a CT scan does mean that you are exposed to a low dose of radiation. But it isn't a large enough amount of radiation for you to have any ill effects. Any exposure to radiation slightly increases a person’s risk of developing cancer in the future. But this small increase in risk should be balanced against the possible benefit of diagnosing and treating cancer that has come back.
If you have an injection of dye before your scan, this may make you feel hot and flushed for a minute or two.
How to join a clinical trial
Prof Robert Huddart
Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer