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 chemotherapy for advanced leiomyosarcoma
This trial looked at a new combination of chemotherapy drugs for leiomyosarcoma.
Leiomyosarcoma is a type of soft tissue sarcoma. Doctors usually treat leiomyosarcoma with surgery, and sometimes radiotherapy. But sometimes the cancer comes back again or continues to grow despite treatment.
Adriamycin (Doxorubicin) and ifosfamide are the chemotherapy drugs that are currently used to treat leiomyosarcoma. They work well for some people, but not everyone. Doctors think that the drugs gemcitabine and docetaxel (Taxotere) may be better.
The aim of this trial was to find out how well gemcitabine and docetaxel work for advanced leiomyosarcoma.
Summary of results
The trial team found that the chemotherapy combination of docetaxel and gemcitabine could work for people with advanced leiomyosarcoma.
Everyone taking part in this trial had docetaxel and gemcitabine.
Of the 44 people recruited to take part in this trial, the cancer
- Shrank in 12 people (27%) - this is called
- Stayed the same in 16 people (36%) - this is called
- Continued to grow in 11 people (25%)
In 5 people (11%), the researchers could not confirm whether the cancer had grown.
In over half of the people (57%) their cancer had remained stable 6 months after treatment.
The researchers found that the average amount of time that the people in this trial had survived after having docetaxel and gemcitabine to treat their leiomyosarcoma was about 18 months.
They concluded that the combination of docetaxel and gemcitabine did help people with leiomyosarcoma. And that this chemotherapy combination requires further study by comparing it with the chemotherapy doctors currently use to treat leiomyosarcoma.
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 Ian Judson
Dr Beatrice Seddon
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust