A trial looking at central lines for long term chemotherapy (CAVA)

Cancer type:

All cancer types

Status:

Results

Phase:

Other

This trial compared different types of central lines that doctors use to give long term chemotherapy.

This trial was open for people to join between 2013 and 2018. The team published the results in 2022.

More about this trial

You can have chemotherapy as an injection into a vein. This is fine for short term treatment. But when you have long term chemotherapy your doctor may suggest having a tube put in that can stay in for a long time. It means that you won’t need to have a needle put into your arm each time you have treatment.

These are generally called central lines Open a glossary item. There are 3 types of central line doctors can use:

•    tunnelled central line
•    PICC line
•    PORT

Both the tunnelled central line and PORTs go into your body through a large vein in the centre of your chest. The PICC line goes into a vein in your arm.

Most hospitals use all 3 types of central lines. But they didn’t know which was the best or cheapest to use. The researchers compared them to find out.

Summary of results

The team found that the PORT was better and safer than the tunnelled central line or PICC line for chemotherapy. 

Trial design

1,061 people took part in this randomised trial Open a glossary item. A computer chose whether they would have a:

  • PICC line
  • tunnelled central line
  • PORT

Results
The team looked at the complications that happened with each type of central line. These included:

  • unable to get blood from the line
  • blood clots
  • infection
  • the line not working properly

They found that the:

  • PICC line had fewer complications than tunnelled central line
  • PORT had fewer complications than either the PICC line or the tunnelled central line

Conclusion
The team concluded that: 

  • the PORT was safer and people were more satisfied with it than either the PICC line or the tunnelled central line
  • the PICC line and the tunnelled central line both were similar in how well they worked. But there were not enough people in the trial to say this for certain.

They also said that people would be better off having a PORT. But if they didn’t want a PORT then a PICC line would be a good second choice. This is because it is easier to put in than the tunnelled central line.   

More detailed information
There is more information about this research in the article below. 

Please note, this article may not be in plain English. It has been written for health care professionals and researchers.

Journal articles
Central venous access devices for the delivery of systemic anticancer therapy (CAVA): a randomised controlled trial

J.G. Moss and others
Lancet, 2022. 398. 403-415.

Websites
Central venous access devices for the delivery of systemic anticancer therapy (CAVA): a randomised controlled trial

ISRCTN Registry
Accessed March 2022

Where this information comes from    
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. This has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. We have not analysed the data ourselves. As far as we are aware, the link we list above is active and the article is free and available to view.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

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.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Jon Moss

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

10990

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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