QUARTZ (Quality of life after treatment for brain metastases) has now randomised 310 patients out of the target 534. Despite widespread support and a very active Trial Management Group (TMG), recruitment remained slower than anticipated, so this milestone represents an important achievement for all those involved in the trial.
This trial looks to answer a vital clinical question by assessing the value of treating patients with inoperable brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT), in addition to treatment with optimal supportive care and steroids.
A potential recruitment barrier was thought to be the lack of any preliminary data from phase II trials suggesting the omission of WBRT is not detrimental to patients. The unusual step was therefore made to analyse and release data from the first 151 patients randomised to the trial.
The interim data suggested that omitting WBRT is not detrimental in the treatment of patients with inoperable brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer. Although not conclusive, the data support the need for the trial to investigate the appropriate use of WBRT in this patient population. Presentations describing the interim results can be accessed using the links on the right of this page.
The results from analyses of these 151 patients’ data confirm the need for the trial to continue. It is aimed for the trial to close to recruitment in September 2013 with final results in December 2013.