N Bayman, D Ardron, L Ashcroft, DR Baldwin, R Booton, L Darlison, JG Edwards, L Lang-Lazdunski, JF Lester, M Peake, RC Rintoul, M Snee, P Taylor, C Lunt, C Faivre-Finn
INTRODUCTION: Histological diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma requires an invasive procedure such as CT-guided needle biopsy, thoracoscopy, video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATs) or thoracotomy. These invasive procedures encourage tumour cell seeding at the intervention site and patients can develop tumour nodules within the chest wall. In an effort to prevent nodules developing, it has been widespread practice across Europe to irradiate intervention sites postprocedure--a practice known as prophylactic irradiation of tracts (PIT). To date there has not been a suitably powered randomised trial to determine whether PIT is effective at reducing the risk of chest wall nodule development. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: In this multicentre phase III randomised controlled superiority trial, 374 patients who can receive radiotherapy within 42 days of a chest wall intervention will be randomised to receive PIT or no PIT. Patients will be randomised on a 1:1 basis. Radiotherapy in the PIT arm will be 21 Gy in three fractions. Subsequent chemotherapy is given at the clinicians' discretion. A reduction in the incidence of chest wall nodules from 15% to 5% in favour of radiotherapy 6 months after randomisation would be clinically significant. All patients will be followed up for up to 2 years with monthly telephone contact and at least four outpatient visits in the first year. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: PIT was approved by NRES Committee North West-Greater Manchester West (REC reference 12/NW/0249) and recruitment is currently on-going, the last patient is expected to be randomised by the end of 2015. The analysis of the primary end point, incidence of chest wall nodules 6 months after randomisation, is expected to be published in 2016 in a peer reviewed journal and results will also be presented at scientific meetings and summary results published online. A follow-up analysis is expected to be published in 2018. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN04240319; NCT01604005; Pre-results.