Two adjuvant chemotherapy regimens in the treatment of osteosarcoma

Which chemotherapy drugs are best to treat people with bone cancer?

What was this study about?

The BO01 trial aimed to compare two different types of chemotherapy in the treatment of people with bone cancer (osteosarcoma). People who took part in this trial were randomised into two groups. Those in the first group were given two chemotherapy drugs – vincristine and methotrexate. People in the second group were given three drugs - vincristine, methotrexate and doxorubicin.

What difference did this study make?

Although both drug combinations seemed to be effective in treating people with bone cancer, people who were given the two-drug combination experienced less unwanted side effects.

No significant difference in survival was observed between the two regimens, but toxicity was less with the two drug regimens.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details

Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council.

When did it take place?

This trial recruited patients between 1975 and 1981. The results were published in 1986.

Who was included?

The trial included 235 people with osteosarcoma, all aged under 40, who had been treated by amputation or radiotherapy.