A randomised trial of adjuvant chemotherapy in high grade malignant glioma

Can adding chemotherapy to radiotherapy help with people with brain tumours to live longer?

What was this study about?

Malignant glioma is the most common primary brain tumour in adults. The BR05 trial aimed to find out whether giving a combination of 3 chemotherapy drugs after radiotherapy could help people with a high grade malignant glioma (the most rapidly growing type of brain tumour) to live longer.

What difference did this study make?

This trial found that adding this combination of chemotherapy drugs to radiotherapy did not help this group of patients to live for longer.

This study alone did not show a clear benefit to chemotherapy. However it was included in a meta analysis with other similar trials and together they showed that some types of chemotherapy did help some people live longer – approximately 8 weeks on average. This encouraged further research to find more effective chemotherapy for brain tumours.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details

Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council.

When did it take place?

This trial began recruiting people in 1988, and closed in 1997. The results of this trial were published in 2001.

Where did it take place?

Participants in this study came from hospitals across the UK.

Who was included?

674 people with a high grade glioma took part in this trial.