Brain tumour clinical trial title

BRITER study (Study ID: 38723)

Brain tumour type




Our aim with the BRITER study is to produce a way of predicting who might be more or less likely to suffer side effects from radiotherapy prior to starting treatment for a glioblastoma (GBM), a type of brain tumour. This will enable doctors and patients to make more individual, tailored treatment plans. GBM is the commonest primary malignant brain tumour. The chances of developing a GBM peak in your 70s and 80s. Outcomes in older patients are poor. Part of the reason is the lack of good clinical trials for this age group. Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiotherapy or best supportive care. The focus should be on maintaining a good quality of life for as long as possible. Research has shown that there is a test oncologists can perform on tumours which suggests whether that tumour is more or less sensitive to chemotherapy. This test is used to guide whether chemotherapy is offered. There is no such test to guide radiotherapy treatment. Radiotherapy to the brain is an effective treatment, however it can produce side effects. The degree of side effects different patients experience can vary widely. Some of this due to the amount of radiotherapy given and how it’s given but there is a lot that we don’t understand. It has been thought that if the patient’s underlying normal brain (i.e. not the part affected by the tumour) is fragile due to an underlying mild dementia or problems associated with high blood pressure or cholesterol then this might make them more vulnerable. MRI scans can be used to assess whether there are changes in the normal brain. The BRITER study aims to use MRI scans to see whether we can predict those patients who might be more at risk of side effects from radiotherapy. The trial is aimed at patients aged > 65 who have been newly diagnosed with a GBM and are going to receive radiotherapy. Patients who agree to take part in the trial will have had an MRI scan as part of their normal diagnosis. They will undertake some questionnaires before starting their radiotherapy which will aim to assess their quality of life and their mental processes of perception, memory, judgment, and reasoning (called cognitive function). They will repeat these questionnaires 4 and 8 weeks after their treatment when they come for their follow up appointments. We will compare them to measurements made on the pre-treatment MRI scan. Occasionally the MRI scan the patients had as part of their diagnosis will not have enough information on it and some patients may need to have an extra scan before their radiotherapy starts. Participation in the study does not change the treatment the patient receives. We hope that the BRITER study will enable us to predict the degree of side effects a patient is likely to experience before embarking on radiotherapy treatment. This will enable more informative, individualised discussions surrounding the best treatment path for older patients with a GBM.

Date added: 12th January 2019

Open/Closed: Open

Trial ends: August 2020


Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Contact details

Isobelle Coombes :
Eastern Road


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