A randomised, controlled trial of pre- and post-operative chemotherapy in patients with operable gastric and lower oesophageal cancer

Can chemotherapy help to treat people with stomach cancer?

What was this study about?

Stomach cancer is a major cause of death in the UK. In the early 1990’s, the only treatment was an operation – but this was not always effective. Results from some small trials suggested that treating people with chemotherapy before an operation might help more people to live longer. The ST02 trial aimed to test whether this was the case. This trial was also called the MAGIC trial. People who took part in this trial were randomised into two groups – people in one group were offered an operation. People in the second group were offered chemotherapy (drug treatment) before and after an operation.

What difference did this study make?

This trial found that giving people chemotherapy before and after an operation did help them to live longer.

This approach of giving chemotherapy before and after an operation for stomach cancer has become a standard of care and is used commonly in the UK.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details

Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council.

When did it take place?

This trial began recruiting patients in 1994 and closed in 2002. The results were published in 2005.

Who was included?

503 people took part in this trial.