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Megestrol in Treating Patients With Liver Cancer That Cannot Be Removed By Surgery

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00041275
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 28, 2003
Last Update Posted : September 20, 2013
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Brief Summary:

RATIONALE: Estrogen can stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Hormone therapy using megestrol may fight liver cancer by blocking the uptake of estrogen. It is not yet known if megestrol is an effective treatment for liver cancer.

PURPOSE: Randomized phase III trial to determine the effectiveness of megestrol in treating patients who have liver cancer that cannot be removed by surgery.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Liver Cancer Drug: megestrol acetate Phase 3

Detailed Description:


  • Compare the overall survival of patients with inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma treated with megestrol vs placebo.
  • Compare the quality of life of patients treated with these drugs.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to participating center. Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients receive oral megestrol twice daily for 1 year.
  • Arm II: Patients receive an oral placebo twice daily for 1 year. Quality of life is assessed at baseline and then monthly for 1 year.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A minimum of 300 patients (200 for arm I and 100 for arm II) will be accrued for this study.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 300 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized Double Blind Trial Of Megestrol Acetate Versus Placebo For The Treatment Of Inoperable Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Study Start Date : May 2002
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 2007
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Liver Cancer

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Survival measured weekly

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Quality of life as measured by EORTC quality of life instrument monthly

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

    • Histologically confirmed OR
    • Meets 2 of the following criteria:

      • Radiological evidence of HCC on CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound
      • Serum alpha-fetoprotein level at least 400 µg/L
      • Positive lipiodol retention
  • Not amenable to surgery



  • 20 to 100

Performance status:

  • ECOG 0-3

Life expectancy:

  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • Bilirubin no greater than 5.8 mg/dL


  • Creatinine less than 1.7 mg/dL


  • Not pregnant
  • No clinical encephalopathy
  • No other malignancy within the past 5 years


Biologic therapy:

  • Not specified


  • No prior chemoembolization for HCC
  • No prior systemic chemotherapy for HCC

Endocrine therapy:

  • Not specified


  • Not specified


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • No prior surgery for HCC


  • No prior percutaneous injection for HCC

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00041275

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Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University
Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1000
Rumah Sakit Sanglah
Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 20114
Korea, Republic of
St. Vincent Hospital
Suwon, Korea, Republic of, 442-060
Yangon General Hospital
Yangon, Myanmar
New Zealand
Auckland City Hospital
Auckland, New Zealand, 5
Davao Doctors Hospital
Davao City, Philippines
National Cancer Centre - Singapore
Singapore, Singapore, 169608
Changi General Hospital
Singapore, Singapore, 529889
Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital - Taipei
Taipei, Taiwan, 333
Ramathibodi Hospital
Bangkok, Thailand, 10400
National Cancer Institute
Ha Noi, Vietnam
Cho Ray Hospital
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Medical Research Council (NMRC), Singapore
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Study Chair: Pierce Chow, MD, PhD, MBBS, FRCS, FAMS National Cancer Centre, Singapore

Publications of Results:
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00041275     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000069460
First Posted: January 28, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 20, 2013
Last Verified: September 2002

Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
localized unresectable adult primary liver cancer
advanced adult primary liver cancer
adult primary hepatocellular carcinoma

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
Liver Neoplasms
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Liver Diseases
Megestrol Acetate
Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic
Contraceptives, Oral
Contraceptive Agents, Female
Contraceptive Agents
Reproductive Control Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
Antineoplastic Agents
Appetite Stimulants
Central Nervous System Stimulants