COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC:

Get the latest research information from NIH: Menu

Dexamethasone and Supportive Care With or Without Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer That Has Spread to the Brain and 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: NCT00403065
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 23, 2006
Last Update Posted : August 26, 2013
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Brief Summary:

RATIONALE: Steroid therapy, such as dexamethasone, may reduce swelling, pain, and other symptoms of inflammation and may be effective in treating some of the problems caused by cancer and cancer treatment. Supportive care improves the quality of life of patients with a serious or life-threatening disease, and prevents or treats symptoms of cancer, side effects of treatment, and other problems related to cancer or its treatment. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells. It is not yet known whether dexamethasone given together with supportive care is more effective with or without whole-brain radiation therapy in treating patients with brain metastases.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying dexamethasone and supportive care to see how well it works with or without whole-brain radiation therapy in improving the quality of life of patients with non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to the brain and cannot be removed by surgery.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Lung Cancer Metastatic Cancer Drug: dexamethasone Procedure: quality-of-life assessment Radiation: radiation therapy Phase 3

Detailed Description:



  • Compare the efficacy of dexamethasone with vs without whole-brain radiotherapy in combination with optimal supportive care, in terms of patient assessed quality adjusted life years, in patients with inoperable brain metastases secondary to non-small cell lung cancer.


  • Compare the overall survival of patients treated with these regimens.
  • Assess the Karnofsky performance status of patients treated with these regimens.
  • Assess the symptoms of patients treated with these regimens.
  • Determine the feasibility of assessing and measuring caregiver concerns.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, controlled, multicenter study. Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I (experimental): Patients receive dexamethasone*. Patients receive optimal supportive care (OSC) including a prescription of a proton pump inhibitor while on dexamethasone, parallel nursing support, access to additional specialists (e.g., pain-relief service, palliative care team, medical social worker, or physiotherapist), and open access to follow-up in a specialist clinic. OSC may also include analgesics, bronchodilators, and other supportive treatment as needed.
  • Arm II (control): Patients receive dexamethasone* and OSC as in arm I. Patients also undergo whole-brain radiotherapy once daily for 5 days in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

NOTE: *Patients who are receiving prednisolone at randomization need to convert to dexamethasone immediately.

All patients undergo telephone assessment, including quality of life assessment, once a week for 12 weeks and then once every 4 weeks thereafter. Consenting caregivers complete questionnaire over the telephone once a week to assess the impact of the patient's disease and treatment on the caregiver's quality of life.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed periodically.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: At least 1,000 patients will be accrued for this study.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 1000 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Quality of Life After Radiotherapy & Steroids. A Phase III Multi-Centre Randomised Controlled Trial to Assess Whether Optimal Supportive Care Alone (Including Dexamathasone) is As Effective as Optimal Supportive Care (Including Dexamethasone ) Plus Whole Brain Radiotherapy in the Treatment of Patients With Inoperable Brain Metastases From Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Study Start Date : October 2006
Actual Study Completion Date : March 2013

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Patient-assessed quality adjusted life years

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Overall survival
  2. Karnofsky performance status
  3. Patient symptoms
  4. Assessment and measurement of caregiver concerns

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically or cytologically confirmed primary non-small cell lung cancer
  • Must have brain metastases confirmed by CT scan or MRI

    • Unresectable disease OR surgery is deemed inappropriate
  • The benefit or lack of benefit of whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) cannot be clearly defined

    • Any known certainty of the benefit or lack of benefit of WBRT is not allowed


  • No prior or concurrent uncontrolled illness that could preclude study treatment or comparisons
  • Must be able to respond to weekly telephone assessment questions


  • More than 1 week since prior epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors
  • More than 1 month since prior chemotherapy
  • More than 1 month since prior surgery for brain metastases
  • No prior radiotherapy to the brain

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): NCT00403065

Show Show 70 study locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
Medical Research Council
Layout table for investigator information
Study Chair: Paula Mulvenna Northern Centre for Cancer Treatment at Newcastle General Hospital
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00403065    
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000517194
TROG 07.02
First Posted: November 23, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 26, 2013
Last Verified: January 2007
Keywords provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
recurrent non-small cell lung cancer
stage IV non-small cell lung cancer
tumors metastatic to brain
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Lung Neoplasms
Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
Respiratory Tract Neoplasms
Thoracic Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Carcinoma, Bronchogenic
Bronchial Neoplasms
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Gastrointestinal Agents
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
Antineoplastic Agents