A randomised multicentre trial of continuous hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy (CHART) versus conventional radiotherapy

Is a more intensive form of radiotherapy better for treating people with lung cancer?

What was this study about?

People with non-small cell lung cancer which can’t be treated with surgery are often treated with radiotherapy. This trial looked at whether it is more effective to give people with this type of lung cancer the conventional radiotherapy treatment once a day, five times a week, or to give them radiotherapy three times a day, over a continuous period of 12 days. This type of radiotherapy is called continuous hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy, or CHART.

What difference did this study make?

This trial found that people who were given CHART were more likely to survive for longer than those who were given conventional radiotherapy.

Although this trial showed that people treated using CHART seemed to survive for longer, it was hard to put these findings into practice. This is because CHART means that radiotherapy has to be given 3 times a day and on consecutive days – including Saturdays and Sundays.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details

Who funded the study?

This trial was funded by the Department of Health.

When did it take place?

This trial recruited patients between 1990 and 1995. The results of the trial were published in 1996.

Where did it take place?

Patients were recruited from 13 centres across the UK and Europe.

Who was included?

563 patients took part in this trial.