“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."
A trial to see if p53 gene damage can predict how well different chemotherapy drugs will work for breast cancer (EORTC 10994)
This trial tried to find out if there was a link between damage to the p53 gene and how cancer responded to different types of chemotherapy.
A gene called
Drugs called anthracyclines (such as epirubicin) are used to treat breast cancer. From previous research doctors thought that anthracyclines may kill more cells with a normal p53 gene than cells with a damaged p53 gene.
The aims of this trial were to see if there is a link between p53 damage and how well different combinations of chemotherapy worked. And to see which treatment worked best.
Summary of results
The trial found that there was no clear link between p53 damage and how well the 2 combinations of chemotherapy worked.
This trial recruited 1,856 people. They were put into 1 of 2 treatment groups
- 928 had fludarabine, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide
- 928 had epirubicin and docetaxel
After 5 years follow up the researchers found little difference between the numbers of people in both groups whose cancer had started to grow again.
Of the 1,856 people, the researchers were able to look at the p53 gene of 1,469 people.
After 5 years the researchers found little difference between how well the chemotherapy worked for those who had p53 damage and those who did not.
The trial team concluded that there was no clear link between damage to the p53 gene and how well the 2 chemotherapy combinations worked.
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
Mr David Cameron
Anglo Celtic Cooperative Oncology Group
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)