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 surgery or radiotherapy after chemotherapy for non small cell lung cancer (EORTC 08941)
Doctors usually treat stage 3A non small cell lung cancer with surgery or radiotherapy, and sometimes chemotherapy. When this trial was done, doctors wanted to see if surgery after chemotherapy worked better than radiotherapy after chemotherapy for this group of patients.
The aim of the trial was to compare radiotherapy with surgery after chemotherapy.
Summary of results
The researchers found that surgery after chemotherapy was not better than radiotherapy after chemotherapy for people with non small cell lung cancer.
The chemotherapy worked in around 6 out of 10 people (61%). This group of patients were then divided into 2 treatment groups
- Half had radiotherapy
- Half had surgery
The trial team analysed the results in 2005. After an average follow up of 6 years, they looked at both groups to see how long people lived and how many had cancer that had continued to grow. They found no difference between the people who had surgery and the people who had radiotherapy.
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 J van Meerbeeck
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)