“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”
A trial looking at central lines for long term chemotherapy (CAVA)
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
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.
1,061 people took part in this
- PICC line
- tunnelled central line
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
- 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
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.
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.
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 (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Jon Moss
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme