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 cisplatin with or without raltitrexed for people with mesothelioma (EORTC 08983)
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This trial looked at cisplatin with or without raltitrexed (Tomudex) for people with mesothelioma of the lung that could not be removed with an operation.
Tomudex is another chemotherapy drug used to treat other types of cancer. But earlier research showed that it might be a useful treatment for pleural mesothelioma.
The aims of this trial were to find out
- If Tomudex and cisplatin works better than cisplatin alone for pleural mesothelioma
- More about the side effects and quality of life
Summary of results
The researchers found that cisplatin and Tomudex together is better than cisplatin alone for people with pleural mesothelioma.
The trial recruited 250 people aged between 19 and 80 with pleural mesothelioma
- Half the people had cisplatin alone
- Half the people had cisplatin and Tomudex
The researchers analysed the results in 2004. They found that more people were alive a year after treatment in the group who had cisplatin and Tomudex (46%) compared to those who had cisplatin alone (39%). The researchers also looked at quality of life. They found that the addition of Tomudex did not worsen quality of life.
Side effects included a drop in white blood cells (neutropenia) and this was a bit worse for the people who had both drugs. They also had a little more sickness and tiredness than the group who had cisplatin alone.
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. Jan Van Meerbeeck
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)