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 comparing chemotherapy for advanced non small cell lung cancer (BTOG1)
This trial compared two standard chemotherapy combinations called MVP and MIC with a new combination of docetaxel and carboplatin for advanced non small cell lung cancer.
Doctors usually treat non small cell lung cancer with radiotherapy or surgery. But if the cancer is already advanced when first diagnosed, it can be more difficult to treat. Doctors can then use standard MVP or MIC chemotherapy. MVP is mitomycin, vinblastine and cisplatin and MIC is mitomycin, ifosfamide and cisplatin.
Earlier research showed that docetaxel (Taxotere) and carboplatin may work better than standard treatment.
The aim of the trial was to compare the newer treatment with standard treatment to find out
- Which treatment works best for advanced non small cell lung cancer
- More about the side effects and quality of life
Summary of results
The researchers found that docetaxel and carboplatin was no better than standard treatment with MVP or MIC for advanced non small cell lung cancer. But people who had docetaxel and carboplatin reported fewer side effects.
The trial recruited 433 patients aged between 35 and 83 with non small cell lung cancer
- Half had 4 cycles of treatment with standard MVP or MIC treatment
- Half had 4 cycles of treatment with docetaxel and carboplatin
The researchers analysed the results in 2006. They looked at the number of people who were alive 2 years after treatment and found there was no difference between the 2 groups. But people in the docetaxel and carboplatin group had a better quality of life after their third cycle of chemotherapy than people in the standard treatment group.
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
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor Nick Thatcher
Manchester Lung Tumour Group
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)