The purpose of this international study is to try to predict which patients are more likely to have side effects from radiotherapy
For information about the current status of the study, go to:
Why are we doing the study?
Approximately half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment. The dose of radiation given is limited because of a risk of damaging the normal tissues and organs that surround the tumour. Patients vary in how they react to radiation. About 5% of patients (5 out of every 100) are sensitive and at risk of having side effects. In recent years, researchers have developed predictive models and biological tests to try to identify before the start of treatment those patients who are very sensitive. However, these methods are not yet ready to use in the clinic so radiation doses for all patients are currently limited by the risk of side effects in the most sensitive patients.
What is the REQUITE study?
The international REQUITE observational study is the largest study of its kind. A number of hospitals in France, Germany, the US, Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK are taking part, looking at patients having radiotherapy for breast, lung or prostate cancer. The information collected will allow researchers to thoroughly test models and biological markers for future use. If we are successful, then in future we could identify the ‘radiosensitive’ patients before they start their radiotherapy and this may allow us to personalise treatment. This should reduce side effects for all patients, improve quality of life and potentially increase the number of patients successfully treated for their cancer.
What will patients be asked to do?
Patients who take part in this study will be asked to complete some short questionnaires about their health and symptoms before and after they have radiotherapy. They will also be asked to give a blood sample (about 2 tblsps or 20 ml) which can be looked at in the laboratory to study biomarkers that might predict sensitivity to radiotherapy.
For more information about the study and questionnaires please see right column
For information about cancer, and radiotherapy please find a list of helpful web-sites below
Comments from our patient advocates
"I would have been pleased to fill in the questionnaires and give blood when I had my radiotherapy. It is great to see such good collaboration across Europe and the US towards improving patient treatment in the future. The more we know the better we can tailor treatment to individuals."
Hilary Stobart, - radiotherapy breast cancer patient in 2009.
"I willingly gave blood towards a genetic study on prostate cancer when I was diagnosed. If the REQUITE study had begun when I had my radiotherapy I would certainly have not missed the opportunity to contribute in some small way to this valuable international collaboration. This study will not benefit me as radiotherapy patient but will benefit others who follow me and may suffer radiotherapy side effects as I have done."
Tim Ward - radiotherapy prostate cancer patient in 2011.