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- Attempts at surgical removal are of no benefit to asbestos cancer sufferers finds trial led by CORU's Tom Treasure
- CORU's work shows effects of selective citation on surgical practice
- Pandemic flu countermeasure work published in Vaccine
- Editorial praises CORU's simple risk stratification model
- Tom Treasure's talk is ranked among top three presentations
- The Ekjut trial in India is selected as Trial of the Year!
- Christos Vasilakis gives keynote lecture at Young OR 17 conference
- CORU informs national policy on pandemic flu
- CORU work examines the foundations of triage
- Christina Pagel gives invited talk at RCM conference
- Martin Utley gives invited talk at the MASHNET workshop
- Making sense of statistics
- UCL helps engineer to heal his own heart
- Christina Pagel has paper published in The Lancet
- Martin Utley promoted to professor
- Professor Tom Treasure attends NICE International conference
- Citation for Steve Gallivan
- NCEPOD report highlights concerns over chemotherapy
- CORU 25 year celebration
- Marfan aortic aneurysm: Golesworthy wins Healthcare Award
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- CORU's Skilled Birth Attendance paper is a BMC Highly Accessed paper!
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- Number of people living with cancer set to increase significantly
- CORU article highlights challenges in implementing modelling toolkits
- Health financing website receives positive feedback!
- Is surgery to remove secondary cancer always a good thing?
- Sonya Crowe awarded Improvement Science Fellowship by the Health Foundation!
- CORU work helps child heart teams get clearer picture of their results
Attempts at surgical removal are of no benefit to asbestos cancer sufferers finds trial led by CORU's Tom Treasure
25 July 2011
Patients suffering from cancer of the lung cavity do not survive any longer if surgeons remove the lung and cavity linings, compared with those who do not have this major surgery. That is the conclusion of a ten-year series of studies carried out by a team at UCL and the Institute of Cancer Research led by CORU's Tom Treasure.
In the latest study, to be published in the leading medical journal, The Lancet Oncology, in August 2011 the Mesothelioma and Radical Surgery (MARS) trial team report results of a three-year study of 50 patients suffering from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs and lung cavity associated with asbestos. Of these, half were randomly assigned to have a major surgery known as extrapleural pneumonectomy, in which the affected lung, the lung sac and other parts of the lung cavity are removed. This treatment was sandwiched in between two other anti-cancer treatments, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The other half of the patient group got chemotherapy.
The MARS trial results showed that 18 months after being selected for one or other of the patient groups, only 25% of patients survived, no matter whether they had received the surgery or not.
Professor Tom Treasure says: “Mesothelioma continues to increase in many countries of the world. The kind of surgery on offer is very radical. And when it is sandwiched between chemotherapy and radiotherapy, it is very arduous. It cannot be justified without evidence that it is effective. This has never been previously subjected to the usual standard of proof, a randomised controlled trial. Now that it has, it has failed the test.
“In the United States, half of thoracic surgeons believe that surgery alone can cure mesothelioma. In practice mesothelioma surgery is always combined with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy although the sequence varies. Ours is the first prospective study to attempt to see if surgical treatment is justified, and it shows this is clearly not the case.
“Our view is that many mesothelioma sufferers are being subjected to painful and very costly surgery for no benefit.”
The MARS study was a randomised controlled trial funded by Cancer Research UK and was a multicentre collaboration run from the Institute of Cancer Research in London. Professor Julian Peto, based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a world renowned expert on the epidemiology of this asbestos related cancer was joint lead investigator of the MARS trial.
The report is available as an electronic
prepublication release from The Lancet
Oncology from 1st July 2011.