BTS randomised feasibility study of active symptom control with or without chemotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma: ISRCTN 54469112

Muers M F; Rudd R M; O'Brien M E R; Qian W; Hodson A; Parmar M K B; Girling D J
February 2004
Thorax;Feb2004, Vol. 59 Issue 2, p144
Academic Journal
BACKGROUND: The incidence of mesothelioma is rising rapidly in the UK. There is no generally accepted standard treatment. The BTS recommends active symptom control (ASC). It is not known whether chemotherapy in addition prolongs survival or provides worthwhile palliation with acceptable toxicity. Palliation as recorded by patients has been fully reported for only two regimens: mitomycin, vinblastine, and cisplatin (MVP), and vinorelbine (N). The BTS and collaborators planned to conduct a phase III randomised trial comparing ASC only, ASC+MVP, and ASC+N in 840 patients with survival as the primary outcome measure. The aim of the present study was to assess the acceptability of the trial design to patients and the suitability of two standard quality of life (QL) questionnaires for mesothelioma. METHODS: Collaborating centres registered all new patients with mesothelioma. Those eligible and giving informed consent completed EORTC QLQ-C30+LC13 and FACT-L QL questionnaires and were randomised between all three or any two of (1) ASC only, (2) ASC+4 cycles of MVP, and (3) ASC+12 weekly doses of N. RESULTS: During 1 year, 242 patients were registered of whom 109 (45%) were randomised (55% of the 197 eligible patients). Fifty two patients from 20 centres were randomised to an option including ASC only. This translates into a rate of 312 per year from 60 centres interested in collaborating in the phase III trial. The EORTC QL questionnaire was superior to FACT-L in terms of completeness of data and patient preference. Clinically relevant palliation was achieved with ASC. CONCLUSION: The planned phase III trial is feasible.


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