"A Very Large Scale Trial of Chemotherapy for all Stages of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)"

Project Summary and Objectives:

In spite of 20 years of clinical trials the value of cytotoxic chemotherapy in NSCLC is not clear. In the UK chemotherapy may or may not be given for any stage of the disease depending on the views of the clinician.

A recent overview (1), based on individual patient data, has suggested, but not proved, that a survival benefit of 2-6% may be achieved by chemotherapy. This publication, together with positive results from numerous other small and inadequate trials will increase public and professional awareness of the possible benefits of chemotherapy. Currently only an estimated 4% of patients with NSCLC are entered into clinical trials in the UK.

The research team have designed a very large scale, pragmatic, randomised control trial of chemotherapy into which any patient with NSCLC could be entered.

The trial aims to detect a survival difference of 5% if this exists. This proposal is to enable us to launch the study in North Thames, and then to extend the study to groups and clinicians who have already expressed an interest in participating.

Publications to date:

Spiro SG, Gower NH, Evans MT, Facchine FM, Rudd FM on behalf of the Big Lung Trial Steering Committee.  Recruitment of patients with lung cancer into a randomised clinical trial: experience of two centres.  Thorax 2000; 55:463-465


Waller D, Peake MD, Stephens RJ, Fairlamb DJ, Gower NH, Milroy R, Parmar MKB, Rudd RM, Souhami RL, Spiro SG, on behalf of all BLT participants.  'Chemotherapy for patients with non-small cell lung cancer: the surgical setting of the Big Lung Trial'.  European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 26, 173-182, 2004


Spiro SG, Rudd RM, Souhami RL, Brown J, Fairlamb DJ, Gower NH, Maslove L, Milroy R, Napp V, Parmar MKB, Peake MD, Stephens RJ, Thorpe H, Waller D, West P, on behalf of all the Big Lung Trial participants.  'Chemotherapy versus supportive care in advanced non-small cell lung cancer: improved survival without detriment to quality of life'.  Thorax 2004;59:828-36


Big Lung Trial Newsletter
National Co
-ordinating Centre:
BLT Co-ordinating Centre, Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre, Stephenson House, 158-160 North Gower Street, London NW1 2ND

Telephone: 020 7679 8074


Further information can be obtained from:

Professor Stephen Spiro

Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre

Royal Free and University College Medical School

University College London

Stephenson House

158-160 North Gower Street

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Page maintained by Helen Bailey

Last updated 24 May 2005
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