Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at treatment after surgery for people with osteosarcoma (Euramos 1 trial)
This trial looked at treatment for people who had an operation to remove osteosarcoma. Cancer Research UK supported this trial.
More about this trial
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer. Doctors often treat it with chemotherapy both before and after surgery. The chemotherapy drugs doctors usually use are;
- doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
This combination of drugs is often called MAP. MAP chemotherapy is given before and after surgery. This helps stop the osteosarcoma coming back.
Doctors thought that adding other treatments to MAP after surgery may work even better. But they were not sure how well the new combinations of treatment would work. All treatments have side effects, so it is important that people do not have treatments they don’t need.
After surgery, a doctor called a
In the lower risk group, where MAP was working well, some people had MAP after surgery as normal. Some people had MAP plus interferon, called MAPifn. The interferon was given as an injection under the skin every week for up to 18 months.
In the high risk group, where MAP was working less well, some people had MAP after surgery as normal. Some people had MAP plus ifosfamide and etoposide, called MAPIE.
The aim of this trial was to compare these treatments to find out which one was the best treatment after surgery for each of these two groups of people with osteosarcoma.
Summary of results
The trial team didn’t find that having interferon after MAP helped the lower risk people with osteosarcoma.
They also found that adding ifosphamide and etoposide to MAP after surgery didn't help the high risk people.
This was a phase 3 trial. It recruited 2,260 people. It was a randomised trial.
Everyone had 2 cycles of MAP chemotherapy before their surgery. In the lab the pathologists then looked at some of the sarcoma they had removed to see how well the chemotherapy had worked.
The people whose cancer responded well were randomised to have either MAP or MAPifn. This was the low risk group.
Those whose cancer didn’t respond well were randomised into MAP or MAPIE. this was the high risk group.
Low risk group
1,041 people were in the group whose cancer had responded well and 716 of them agreed to be randomised.
- 359 had MAP
- 357 had MAPifn
After an average follow up of 3 years, the researchers looked at how many people were free of osteosarcoma. Of these, they found that
- 266 people who had MAP
- 276 people who had MAP followed by interferon
The trial team concluded that at the moment having interferon after MAP chemotherapy doesn’t appear to better than having MAP only.
High risk group
1,060 people were in the high risk group. 618 were randomised.
- 310 people had MAP
- 318 people had MAPIE
After an average follow up of 5 years, the researchers looked at how many people were free of osteosarcoma. They found that this was
- 157 people who had MAP
- 154 people who had MAPIE
Although the side effects were similar they were more severe for the people who had MAPIE.
The trial team concluded they couldn’t support adding ifosphamide and etoposide to MAP after surgery. Because it didn’t work any better and the side effects were more severe.
The trial team are continuing to follow up people who took part in the trial. When more results become available we will update the summary.
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
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Prof Jeremy Whelan
Cancer Research UK
European Osteosarcoma Intergroup (EOI)
European Science Foundation (ESF)
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
German-Austrian-Swiss Cooperative Osteosarcoma Study Group (COSS)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
North American Children's Oncology Group (COG)
Scandinavian Sarcoma Group (SSG)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/05/013.