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 of doxorubicin and ifosfamide after surgery for soft tissue sarcoma (EORTC 62931)
This trial was looking at doxorubicin and ifosfamide with lenograstim for high grade soft tissue sarcoma that had been completely removed with surgery.
Doctors are not sure how useful adjuvant chemotherapy is for sarcoma that has not spread anywhere else in the body. All treatments have side effects, and it is important that people don’t have treatments they don’t need.
In this trial, some people had doxorubicin and ifosfamide chemotherapy after surgery, and some did not. The aim of the trial was to see if giving chemotherapy after surgery for high grade soft tissue sarcoma helped to stop the cancer coming back and reduced the risk of dying.
Summary of results
The researchers found that chemotherapy did not help to stop sarcoma coming back.
The trial recruited 351 people. Half had chemotherapy and half did not. Those having chemotherapy were due to have 5 cycles of treatment. During each treatment cycle, they had injections of lenograstim for 10 days. This is a growth factor that boosts the number of blood cells you make after chemotherapy.
- 163 people started chemotherapy
- 127 of those people completed all 5 cycles
Over a third of the people having chemotherapy had to have their dose reduced because they had a drop in the number of blood cells or had infections, despite having the growth factor.
The trial team presented some early results at a large cancer conference in 2007. They explained that they had found no benefit in people having chemotherapy after surgery for high grade soft tissue sarcoma. They will continue to follow the people in the trial and will publish the final results in the future.
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
Professor Penella Woll
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)