Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study looking at using PET-CT scans to plan radiotherapy in people with cancer of the head and neck (POSITIVE)
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Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.
This study is looking to see if PET-CT scans can help plan radiotherapy even more accurately. When radiotherapy doctors (
Researchers in this study are looking to see if a PET-CT scan can help with the planning process. PET-CT scans use a radioactive substance to show up chemical reactions in the body. The researchers think that a PET-CT scan may help doctors to more accurately work out the size and exact place the cancer is in the body. This would improve how accurate and successful the radiotherapy would be. The PET-CT scan may also be able to pick up any other areas of cancer that may not have shown up on a regular CT scan.
People taking part in this study will have a PET-CT scan as part of their radiotherapy planning, instead of a CT scan. The aim is to find out how PET-CT scans can be used to measure tumour size in people with cancer of the head and neck.
Who can enter
You may be able to enter this study if you are being cared for by doctors at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff and you
squamous cell cancerof the part of the throat just behind the mouth (the oropharynx), which includes cancer of the tonsil, cancer of the base of the tongue and cancer of the soft area at the back of the roof of the mouth (soft palate)
- Are due to have radiotherapy to treat your cancer
You cannot enter this study if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This study will recruit 20 people. Everyone taking part will have a PET-CT scan, instead of a CT scan, when they have their radiotherapy planning.
When you arrive for your PET-CT scan, the staff will ask you to drink some water. You then have an injection of a small amount of radioactive tracer, which helps the scan pictures show up more clearly. And then you lie down and relax while your body absorbs the tracer.
Before the scan the staff will ask you to empty your bladder in the toilet. You then have the scan, which takes about 30 minutes.
You are free to leave the department after your scan. But, because of the tracer injection, you should avoid close contact with young children or pregnant women for 8 hours after your scan. Close contact in this case means picking up or sitting close to someone.
The team may ask if they can contact you again in future if they have any more research that may be suitable for you to take part in. You do not have to agree to this if you don’t want to.
For the study, you will have a PET-CT scan as part of your radiotherapy planning, instead of a CT scan.
You have the PET-CT scan at the University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park and your appointment will take between 2 to 4 hours. This is because the radioactive injection takes time to work its way round your body before the scan. The actual scan will take about 30 minutes.
You will be exposed to a very small amount of extra radiation for the study PET-CT scan. But this extra dose is a thousand times smaller than the dose you will have to treat your cancer.
The radioactive tracer injection from this PET-CT scan leaves the body quickly in your urine. You should not feel any side effects after the scan.
It is possible that the study PET-CT scan could pick up some tiny areas of cancer spread that hadn’t shown up on a regular CT scan, because they are so small. If this happens, the study team will talk to your doctor so that they can treat this.
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Emiliano Spezi
Dr Mererid Evans
Cancer Research Wales
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
Velindre NHS Trust