Advanced lung cancer study awarded £2 million

Researchers at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals (RBHH) have been awarded almost £2 million to conduct a trial into the current treatment options for patients with advanced lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide.  Despite new treatments and improving standards of care, the one year survival rate is only 37% and many patients are left with residual cancer after treatment. 

The treatment of residual lung cancers can vary greatly across the NHS with some patients offered palliative care, whilst others receive more aggressive treatments including surgery, radiotherapy or ablation (a technique which uses heat to destroy cancer cells). 

Active management of residual cancer is known as ‘local consolidative treatment’ (LCT) and can be intensive for patients, impacting on their quality of life. It is also unclear whether LCT necessarily offers better outcomes for patients – something the researchers for this new trial aim to determine. 

Supported by the National Institute for Health Research and led by Professor Eric Lim, consultant thoracic surgeon at RBHH, the RAMON trial aims to determine whether LCT is worthwhile for patients with residual advanced lung cancer. 

The trial will recruit participants who will have completed initial treatment of their cancer with medication, before they are randomly assigned to one of two groups; one group will receive LCT and the second group will not. Both groups will be followed up after 6 weeks and then every 6 months for two years.

The research team will compare the two groups in several areas, including survival rates, how the disease progresses, quality of life and any complications. In addition, data will be collected to determine the cost of LCT to the NHS and for the patient.

The first year of the trial will be a ‘pilot’ study to ensure that enough participants can be recruited and followed up at each of the participating hospital sites. 

Professor Lim believes the study is especially important in light of the effectiveness of new treatments for advanced lung cancer. He said;

“If the trial is positive, surgical multimodality management of residual disease will become accepted practice and if negative we will be able to spare patients from an intensive regimen (without benefit) with considerable cost savings for the NHS.”

The trial will be led by RBHH with collaborators at potentially 40 other NHS sites, and will be managed by the Bristol Trials Centre.

If you would like to find out more about this study please contact us