"I now know how cancer can strike anyone whatever their situation or circumstance. I hope by taking part in a trial it will help others in my position in the future.”
A trial looking at a new combination of chemotherapy for testicular cancer that has come back
This trial looked at a new combination of chemotherapy drugs called TIP for testicular cancer that has come back after treatment. It recruited men whose cancer had already spread (metastasised) when they were diagnosed.
Doctors usually treat testicular cancer with BEP chemotherapy. This is bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin. But the cancer comes back (recurs) in a small number of men. If this happens, doctors can give more chemotherapy. But sometimes this doesn’t work very well, especially if the cancer had already spread when it was first diagnosed. So doctors would like to improve treatment for this group of patients.
The aims of the trial were to find out
- How well TIP works for men with testicular cancer that has come back
- More about the side effects
Summary of results
The researchers in this trial found that TIP is a useful treatment combination for men with testicular cancer that has come back after earlier chemotherapy.
This trial recruited 51 men. Of those, 43 men were able to have the treatment in this trial. The doctors looked at tumour markers and CT scan results after TIP. They found
- The cancer went away completely in 8 men – doctors called this ‘complete remission’
- After chemotherapy, the tumour marker levels went back to normal in 18 men - doctors called this ‘partial remission’
- The tumour markers failed to reach normal levels in 13 men - doctors called this an ‘incomplete response’
- The cancer continued to grow in 3 men
- Unfortunately 1 man died during treatment
As part of the trial, some of the men went on to have surgery after TIP to remove as much of their cancer as possible. After surgery, there were no signs of cancer in 5 out of 13 men who had an ‘incomplete response’ to TIP initially.
The researchers looked at the number of men alive one year after treatment. They found that 7 out of 10 men (70%) lived for at least a year.
The most common side effect of TIP was a drop in blood cells causing an increased risk of infection, bruising and bleeding problems.
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 M. Mason
Dr B. Mead
Medical Research Council (MRC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)