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 trial looking at capecitabine after surgery for cancer of the bile duct or gallbladder (BILCAP)
This trial compared surgery and capecitabine with surgery alone for cancer of the bile duct or gallbladder (also called biliary tract cancer).
Cancer Research UK supported this trial.
This trial was open for people to join between March 2006 and December 2014. The results were published in 2019.
More about this trial
For biliary tract cancer diagnosed at an early stage, the best treatment is an operation to remove it. But sometimes the cancer starts to grow again after surgery.
Chemotherapy after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) can help stop some types of cancer from coming back.
Doctors thought a chemotherapy drug called capecitabine (Xeloda) might stop biliary tract cancer coming back after surgery. But they weren’t sure.
Capecitabine does have side effects, and it is important that people don’t have treatments they don’t need.
In this trial half the people had capecitabine after their surgery. And the other half didn’t have capecitabine.
Summary of results
- 223 people had capecitabine
- 224 people didn’t have capecitabine
- over 4 years (51.1 months) for those who had capecitabine
- over 3 years (36.4 months) for those who didn’t have capecitabine
- just over 2 years (24.4 months) for those who had capecitabine
- just under 1½ years (17.5 months) for those who didn’t have capecitabine
- hand and foot syndrome
How to join a clinical trial
Professor John Primrose
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Southampton
Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, University of Birmingham
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/05/002.