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About 7,500 patients are diagnosed with oesophageal cancer each year in the UK of which less than a quarter have resectable disease at diagnosis.

There is a general lack of consistency in the standard of care for patients across UK hospitals.  Patients are either treated with a) chemotherapy followed by surgical removal of the tumour, or b) chemoradiotherapy followed by removal of the tumour by surgery, as part of their standard of care.  Recent research supports the latter treatment, as chemoradiotherapy maybe more effective at shrinking the tumour and preventing the disease from spreading than taking chemotherapy alone.  However, there is no definitive way of identifying which treatment is best without a clinical trial.

Evidence suggests that the effect of the chemoradiotherapy currently used as standard practice may be improved and the side effects reduced by using a different chemoradiotherapy combination.  In this trial, eligible patients received 2 cycles of the same chemotherapy before being randomised to receive two different chemoradiotherapy regimens (carboplatin and paclitaxel verses oxaliplatin and capecitabine) both of which have shown promising results in previous studies.  Patients then had their tumour surgically removed.  The best chemoradiotherapy regimen will be taken forward to a Phase III trial in which chemoradiotherapy will be compared with chemotherapy alone.

The data is being analysed to determine the efficacy of the regimens, which are being measured by counting the number of patients who i) remained free from cancer, ii) had local or distant spread of their cancer, iii) were successfully recruited and iv) experienced toxicities

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Chief Investigator(s)
Funder(s) Cancer Research UK
Sponsor Velindre NHS Trust

Key facts

Start date 1 Jan 2012
End date 1 Dec 2016
Grant value £91,000
  • Published

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