Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at chemotherapy after surgery for children under 3 years old with an ependymoma
We know that this is an especially worrying time for people with cancer and their family and friends. We have separate information about coronavirus and cancer. Please read that information alongside this page. We will update that information as guidance changes.
This trial looked at the role of chemotherapy after surgery for children under 3 years old with an ependymoma.
An ependymoma is a type of brain tumour. Doctors most often treat ependymoma with surgery and radiotherapy. But they prefer not to give radiotherapy to children under 3 years old because of the serious side effects.
This trial looked at giving chemotherapy after surgery instead of radiotherapy to children under 3 years old. They hoped it could delay using radiotherapy until the child was older and it was safer to give. Or that using chemotherapy meant not having to use radiotherapy at all.
The aim of this trial was to treat children under 3 with chemotherapy for a year after surgery to see if it could delay giving radiotherapy.
Summary of results
The trial team found that chemotherapy after surgery could help to avoid or delay radiotherapy for children under 3 years old with ependymoma.
This trial recruited 89 children. Everyone had surgery to remove their tumour. After surgery they had up to 1 year of chemotherapy.
After chemotherapy the tumour had started to grow again in 59 children. The average amount of time it took for the tumour to start growing again was just over 1 and half years. Of these 59 children, 40 had radiotherapy and 19 didn’t.
When these 40 children had radiotherapy, their overall average age was just over 3 and half years old.
The trial team concluded that these results suggest that chemotherapy may have an important role in the treatment of very young children with ependymoma.
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 (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Richard Grundy
Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)