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 standard chemotherapy with a newer combination of chemotherapy for people with small cell lung cancer (LU21)
This trial compared a new combination of chemotherapy called ICE-V (or VICE) with standard chemotherapy for people with small cell lung cancer.
Doctors often treat small cell lung cancer with chemotherapy. When this trial was done, other trials had shown that ICE-V could be a useful treatment for small cell lung cancer. ICE-V is vincristine, ifosfamide, carboplatin and etoposide. In this trial doctors compared ICE-V with
The aims of the trial were to find out
- How well ICE-V worked for small cell lung cancer
- More about side effects and quality of life
Summary of results
The researchers found that ICE-V was a useful treatment for people with small cell lung cancer.
The trial recruited 402 people
- Half had standard chemotherapy
- Half had ICE-V
The researchers analysed the results in 2005. They found that more people lived for longer than 2 years after treatment with ICE-V (20%) than with standard treatment (11%).
The side effects were quite similar in both treatment groups. More people who had standard chemotherapy had a sore mouth. People who had ICE-V were more likely to have numbness (
The researchers also looked at quality of life. People in each treatment group reported a similar quality of life.
When this trial started, about three quarters of the people having standard chemotherapy had a combination of doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and etoposide. Chemotherapy for small cell lung cancer now usually includes a
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 Nick Thatcher
Medical Research Council (MRC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)