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 Ewing’s sarcoma (rEECur)
This trial is looking at different types of chemotherapy to treat Ewing’s sarcoma that didn’t respond to treatment or has come back afterwards.
Ewing’s sarcoma is a type of cancer that mainly affects teenagers, young adults and children. This trial is for both adults and children. We use the term 'you', but if you are a parent, we are referring to your child.
More about this trial
In this trial, researchers are comparing different types of chemotherapy that can be used to treat Ewing’s sarcoma that hasn’t responded to treatment or has come back afterwards. The types of chemotherapy they are looking at are:
The aim of the trial is to find out which treatment works best and which has the fewest side effects.
Who can enter
You may be able to join this trial if all of the following apply. You
- Have Ewing’s sarcoma that didn’t respond to the treatment you had, or has come back afterwards
- Are at least 2 years old
- Are well enough to have chemotherapy
- Are willing to use reliable contraception during the trial and for up to a year afterwards if you are sexually active and there is any chance you or your partner could become pregnant.
You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You
- Have a low number of white blood cells called neutrophils (the trial doctor can advise you about this)
- Have had chemotherapy or an experimental drug in the last 2 weeks
- Have had high dose chemotherapy that kills cells in your bone marrow in the last 8 weeks
- Have had radiotherapy to treat your sarcoma in the last 6 weeks
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
This is an international trial. The researchers need about 500 people to take part in the UK and other countries worldwide.
It is a randomised trial. The people taking part are put into treatment groups by a computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in.
You will have one of the following
You have chemotherapy in 3 week periods called cycles of treatment. If you are in the group having ifosfamide, you have 4 cycles of treatment. If you are in the group having carboplatin and etoposide, you will have 6 cycles. If your sarcoma responds well, your doctor may decide to give you more cycles of treatment.
If you are in the IFOS group, you have chemotherapy for 5 days in a row every 3 weeks. If you are in the CE group, you have chemotherapy for 3 days in a row every 3 weeks.
Before you start treatment, you may have a central line put in. A central line is a small plastic tube that goes under the skin and into a vein under your collar bone. It will stay in place until you finish treatment. This makes it easier to give treatment and take blood samples.
The trial team will ask you to fill out a questionnaire before you start treatment, after 2 cycles of treatment and after 4 cycles of treatment. The questionnaire will ask about side effects and how you’ve been feeling. This is called a quality of life study.
The trial team may also ask you to have a PET-CT scan before starting chemotherapy, and again after 4 cycles of treatment. They want to find out if PET-CT scans are better than other types of scan at measuring how widespread the sarcoma is before and after treatment.
You see the trial team and have some tests before you start treatment. The tests can include
Your doctor will decide which type of scan you need, depending on where the sarcoma is. You have the scan before you start treatment. You may also need to have a bone marrow test.
You also have a test to see how well your kidneys are working. This is called a GFR test.
You see the trial team and have blood tests regularly during treatment. You have another scan after the 2nd and 4th cycles of chemotherapy. If you have 6 cycles of treatment, you have another scan after the 6th cycle.
When you finish treatment, the trial team will check how you are getting on for a minimum of 5 years. They can do this from information collected at your regular hospital appointments.
The most common side effects of the chemotherapy drugs being tested in this trial include
- Hair loss
- Feeling or being sick
- A drop in blood cells causing an increased risk of infection, bleeding problems, tiredness and breathlessness
- Sore mouth
- Dry skin
- Constipation or diarrhoea
The trial team will talk to you about all the possible side effects before you agree to take part.
We have more information about
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Martin McCabe
Cancer Research UK
European Commission’s FP7 health programme
University of Birmingham
This is Cancer Research UK number CRUK/19/004.