SCOT trial recognised for finding that chemotherapy courses could be halved

The SCOT trial is gaining international attention for its findings that three months of chemotherapy could be as effective as six months in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer. The AGITG contributed patients to SCOT, which was an international trial led by UK-based group OCTO.

This week, the results of the trial were published in the US-based publication The Lancet Oncology. The SCOT trial was recognised as its findings could shorten the length of time colorectal patients undergo chemotherapy treatments.

The results of the trial are published here.

The SCOT Trial

The purpose of the SCOT trial was to find out whether chemotherapy courses could effectively be halved for patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Currently, patients undergo surgery to remove the bulk of the cancer and are then treated with a six-month course of chemotherapy.

This chemotherapy treatment can have side effects including nerve damage. Patients can experience numbness and tingling in the feet that becomes worse over time. This is one of the most challenging and complex complications of cancer chemotherapy. Some patients have to stop their chemotherapy treatments as a result of it.

Of the 6088 patients who participated in the SCOT trial, half received chemotherapy for six months. The other half underwent a course of just three months. This trial ran for three years, and patients were monitored to see if their cancer would return.

The results of the SCOT trial determined that patients who received chemotherapy for three months had the same survival rates as those who had the six-month course, but with significantly fewer cases of severe nerve damage. These results could lead to changes in clinical practice in the future, with patients able to achieve the same results from a less toxic treatment.

A summary of the SCOT trial is available here.