Findings from a new clinical trial recommend that children and adults with Ewing’s sarcoma should receive a new standard of treatment that is more effective.
The EURO Ewing 2012 clinical trial aimed to establish a single standard chemotherapy treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma patients across the world. It tested two existing treatment plans to determine which one was more effective or resulted in fewer side effects.
A mix of 640 children and adults from countries across Europe took part in the trial between 2014 and 2019, and patients were randomly allocated to two groups. Half were given the existing standard treatment in the UK and Europe, and the other half were given the standard treatment used in the USA, only used experimentally in Europe until now.
The study measured how many patients survived overall after 3 years (‘overall survival’) and how many patients survived free of certain complications (‘event free survival’). 74% of patients on the European treatment survived overall, compared to 82% on the US treatment. 61% of patients on the European treatment survived without complications, but slightly more (67%) survived free of complications on the US treatment.
In other words, the current US treatment works better and results in fewer side effects.
Findings from this trial recommend that this treatment should now become the standard of care for all Ewing’s sarcoma patients in Europe and across the world. This will help ensure that patients receive a treatment which results in better outcomes and a better experience.
Professor Pamela Kearns, Director of the University of Birmingham Cancer Research Clinical Trials Unit said: “This study is a major result for paediatric cancer outcomes and a major boost for how we provide the best treatment for patients.
“We worked with the leading centres for Ewing sarcoma cancer treatment in Europe on this trial. When we interpreted the overwhelming interim results about the effectiveness of the US regime of chemotherapy, we were quickly able to ensure that every patient identified through the trial and for the vast majority of those with Ewing sarcoma in Europe, received a treatment pathway that we could see had better outcomes and patient experience.”
The full clinical trial results are published in The Lancet.