Hitting the Target: Developing High-quality Evidence for Proton Beam Therapy Through Randomised Controlled Trials.
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The National Health Service strategy for the delivery of proton beam therapy (PBT) in the UK provides a unique opportunity to deliver high-quality evidence for PBT through randomised controlled trials (RCTs). We present a summary of three UK PBT RCTs in progress, including consideration of their key design characteristics and outcome assessments, to inform and support future PBT trial development. The first three UK multicentre phase III PBT RCTs (TORPEdO, PARABLE and APPROACH), will compare PBT with photon radiotherapy for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, breast cancer and oligodendroglioma, respectively. All three studies were designed by multidisciplinary teams, which combined expertise from clinicians, clinical trialists and scientists with strong patient advocacy and guidance from national radiotherapy research networks and international collaborators. Consistent across all three studies is a focus on the reduction of long-term radiotherapy-related toxicities and an evaluation of patient-reported outcomes and health-related quality of life, which will address key uncertainties regarding the clinical benefits of PBT. Innovative translational components will provide insights into mechanisms of toxicity and help to frame the key future research questions regarding PBT. The UK radiotherapy research community is developing and delivering an internationally impactful PBT research portfolio. The combination of data from RCTs with prospectively collected data from a national PBT outcomes registry will provide an innovative, high-quality repository for PBT research and the platform to design and deliver future trials of PBT.
Clin Trials & Stats Unit
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Clinical Oncology, 2023,