Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study looking at improving radiotherapy for bladder cancer (APPLY)
- surgery to remove the bladder
- radiotherapy everyday
More about this trial
Radiotherapy is one of the possible treatments for bladder cancer that has grown into the muscle layer of the bladder. This is called invasive bladder cancer. Everyone has CT scans to help doctors plan where to aim the radiotherapy beam. These are called planning scans. This is to make sure that they give the highest dose of radiation to the cancer and as little as possible to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Before the planning CT scan and treatment, you empty your bladder. This is to make sure that the bladder is in the same position when they plan treatment and when you have treatment. But the bladder can move slightly in the body. Earlier research showed that having an empty bladder doesn’t mean that it will be the same size, shape or in the same position for treatment as it was for the planning CT scan.
This study was for people who couldn’t have the normal radiotherapy which is used with the aim to cure (radical radiotherapy). This was because they weren’t well enough or they had other health problems.
The researchers used the cone beam CT scan to plan radiotherapy on each day of treatment. This scan takes pictures in 3D before treatment. Based on the pictures, doctors could then choose the best treatment plan for that day.
Researchers hoped this would mean the radiotherapy could target the cancer more accurately. And would result in fewer side effects.
Summary of results
- 36 had a cystoscopy
- 19 didn’t have a cystoscopy
- during treatment
- at 6 weeks
- at 12 weeks
- problems passing urine such as pain or passing it more often
- tiredness (fatigue)
- 22 people who had a moderate problem
- 10 people who had a more serious problem
- 6 people had a moderate problem
- 1 person had a more serious problem
- 6 people had a moderate side effect
- 2 people had a severe side effect
- 3 people had a moderate side effect
- 1 person had a severe side effect
- problems passing urine or pain passing urine
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Robert Huddart
Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)