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LUNG SCCT 08 IPD
Chemotherapy and supportive care versus supportive care for advanced non-small cell lung cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data
Does giving chemotherapy as well as best supportive care help patients with non-small cell lung cancer live longer?
What was this study about?

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. If the tumour has spread from the lung to other parts of the body (advanced) it cannot usually be cured. So doctors use different treatments to prevent or relieve symptoms and keep patients well for longer. This sort of treatment is sometime called best supportive care.

In 1995, we did a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data looking at adding chemotherapy (drug treatment) to best supportive care. It brought together information from all patients who took part in similar trials. These trials compared what happened to people with non-small cell lung cancer who were given chemotherapy and best supportive care with those who only had best supportive care. We found that giving chemotherapy helped patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer to live longer.

Since this study was published, many new trials have been done. Therefore, we did a new systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data that included all trials, old and new. This study aimed to find out how much better chemotherapy as well as best supportive care was at helping patients to live longer. It also looked to see if new drugs were better or worse than older drugs, and if chemotherapy helps all types of patients.

Who was included?

Patients with non-small cell lung cancer who took part in randomised controlled trials comparing chemotherapy and best supportive care with best supportive care. The study brought together 16 trials from all over the world. These trials included 2,714 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

What difference did this study make?

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer. If the tumour has spread from the lung to other parts of the body (advanced) it cannot usually be cured. So doctors use different treatments to prevent or relieve symptoms and keep patients well for longer. This sort of treatment is sometime called best supportive care.

In 1995, we did a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data looking at adding chemotherapy (drug treatment) to best supportive care. It brought together information from all patients who took part in similar trials. These trials compared what happened to people with non-small cell lung cancer who were given chemotherapy and best supportive care with those who only had best supportive care. We found that giving chemotherapy helped patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer to live longer.

Since this study was published, many new trials have been done. Therefore, we did a new systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data that included all trials, old and new. This study aimed to find out how much better chemotherapy as well as best supportive care was at helping patients to live longer. It also looked to see if new drugs were better or worse than older drugs, and if chemotherapy helps all types of patients.

Contact details

When did it take place?

This study was completed and published in 2008. The trials included were done between 1982 and 2001.

Where did it take place?

The study was done at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit. But it brought together the results of trials from all over the world.

Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council

Further information


Type of study:
Meta-analyses
Status:
Closed
Study start date:

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