Sarcoma: adjuvant chemotherapy, systematic review and IPD meta-analysis
Adjuvant chemotherapy for localised resectable soft-tissue sarcoma of adults: meta-analysis of individual participant data
Does giving chemotherapy as well as surgery and/or radiotherapy help people with soft-tissue cancer to live longer?
What was this study about?
Soft-tissue sarcomas are cancers that develop from cells in the soft tissues in the body - for example muscle, fat or blood vessels. They are quite rare cancers. People with a soft tissue sarcoma, that hasn't spread, usually have an operation to remove the tumour and the tissue surrounding it. If it was not possible to remove enough tissue around the tumour, patients may also have radiotherapy (treatment with X-ray) and/or chemotherapy (drug treatment).
We did a meta analysis of individual participant data that looked at adding chemotherapy to these treatments. This study brought together information from all patients who took part in similar randomised controlled trials.. These trials compared what happened to people with soft tissue sarcoma who had been given chemotherapy as well as surgery with or without radiotherapy with those who only had surgery with or without radiotherapy.
What difference did this study make?
This study found that people who had chemotherapy and surgery with or without radiotherapy were more likely to live longer without the cancer coming back. After 10 years 55 out of every 100 patients who received chemotherapy were alive without cancer, compared with 45 out of every 100 who did not have chemotherapy. They were also less likely to have the cancer come back or spread to other parts of the body.
Who funded the study?
The Medical Research Council.
When did it take place?
This study was published in 1997. The trials included were done between 1973 and 1990.
Where did it take place?
The study was carried out by the Medical Research Council in the UK, but brought together results of trials from around the world.
Who was included?
Patients with soft-tissue sarcoma who took part in randomised controlled trials comparing what happened to people who had been given chemotherapy as well as surgery and/or radiotherapy to those who didn't. The study brought together 14 trials from around the world. These trials included over 1,500 patients with soft-tissue sarcoma.