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 mesothelioma (MS 01)
This trial looked at chemotherapy as well as active symptom control for mesothelioma of the lung. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
Mesothelioma is often very hard to treat. At the moment there is no
Doctors are not sure how good chemotherapy is at helping to control symptoms of mesothelioma. This trial compared 2 different combinations of chemotherapy with no chemotherapy.
The aim of the trial was to see which treatment is better at controlling the symptoms of mesothelioma.
Summary of results
The research team found that chemotherapy and ASC was slightly better than ASC alone. But the difference was not big enough to be ‘
The trial recruited 409 patients
- One third had active symptom control (ASC) measures
- One third had ASC and the chemotherapy drugs mitomycin, vinblastine and cisplatin (a combination called MVP)
- One third had ASC and the chemotherapy drug vinorelbine
The people who had ASC and vinorelbine did slightly better than the people in the other two groups. But the difference was only small. The people who had chemotherapy often lived just a month or two more than the people who did not.
The research team also measured the ‘quality of life’ of the people taking part. The results were similar across all three groups.
The research team concluded that chemotherapy, and vinorelbine in particular, may be useful for treating some people with mesothelioma. But more trials need to be done.
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
Dr Martin Muers
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/03/001.