Identical chemotherapy schedules given on and off trial protocol in small cell lung cancer: response and survival results

Br J Cancer. 2002 Aug 27;87(5):562-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600433.


Patients who are treated within clinical trials may have a survival benefit dependent on being a trial participant. A number of factors may produce such beneficial outcome including more rigorous adherence to a peer reviewed trial protocol, management by an experienced treatment team, being treated in a specialist centre etc. The current investigation compared patients treated on and off trial with the same standard arm treatment regimen. The results could then be interpreted without the confounding factors of differing treatment regimens, treatment teams or treatment hospitals. The results demonstrated given these circumstances that survival was no different for patients participating in a randomised trial compared with a group of patients similarly treated who were not eligible for trial entry or who declined randomisation. These results were obtained by the rigorous adherence to a defined protocol with the invaluable assistance of designated lung cancer staff.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / mortality
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Tables
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Selection
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Refusal


  • Etoposide
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide

Supplementary concepts

  • ACE protocol 1