We will post a new APHRODITE newsletter to the website every 6 months to keep you updated with the latest information on the trial. Alternatively, if you prefer a hardcopy your nurse will be happy to provide you with one at your next hospital appointment. We have also provided you a link to the Key Facts sheet and Patient Information Sheet to read again if you so wish.
Some patients with rectal cancer are not able to have it removed by surgery. They may suffer from symptoms as their cancer grows, including pain, diarrhoea and the need for a stoma (bowel bag). For these patients, radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy is used. A standard dose of radiotherapy given over 5.5 weeks can lead to the cancer disappearing in about one third of patients. We want to find out if a higher radiotherapy dose given over the same time will give greater benefit to patients with acceptable side effects. This could lead to better treatment and improved quality of life.
Patients with small (early) rectal (back passage) cancers would normally have these treated using surgery to remove the whole rectum. However, there are some patients who are not suitable for surgery. This can either be because surgery is thought to be too risky because of other medical problems which would increase the risks of having surgery. Or it can be because patients would have difficulty looking after a stoma (bowel bag) following surgery. For such patients, radiotherapy or radiotherapy given at the same time as chemotherapy (‘chemoradiotherapy’) can be used. A standard dose of radiotherapy is given over 5.5 weeks and can lead to the cancer disappearing in about one third of patients.
The APHRODITE study will explore the potential benefit of giving a higher radiotherapy dose over 5.5 weeks to see if this improves the chance of the cancer completely disappearing, while at the same time not causing too many extra side effects. In the future this could lead to better treatment and improved quality of life.
After randomisation into either the standard dose radiotherapy arm or the higher dose radiotherapy arm, you will follow the treatment schedule below:
Professor Simon Gollins is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist based at The North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre, Glan Clwyd. Professor Gollins qualified in medicine in 1988 at the University of Oxford, where he also carried out 3 years of laboratory research for a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD). Following medical jobs in Bath and Birmingham he gained his Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 1991.
His oncology training took place at the Christie Hospital Manchester where he gained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists in 1994 and at Velindre Hospital Cardiff where he was also a Consultant Clinical Oncologist prior to moving to North Wales.
Professor Gollins has been a Consultant Clinical Oncologist based at the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre since June 1998 and has been Clinical Director of Oncology for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board since 2010. In his NHS practice he is responsible for regular outpatient clinics at the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre and Wrexham Maelor Hospital. As a Clinical Oncologist he is responsible for treating patients with cancer with both radiotherapy and chemotherapy and his subspecialty interests are upper and lower gastrointestinal cancer, pancreaticobiliary cancer, head and neck cancer and thyroid cancer.Since 2005 Professor Gollins has been North Wales Clinical Lead for the Wales Cancer Research Network and in 2008 he became a Member of the Colorectal Clinical Studies Group of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) and in October 2013 was appointed Visiting Professor at Glyndwr University.
Ane Appelt is a clinical radiotherapy researcher, with a background in medical physics and oncology. She works part-time in the NHS, in the radiotherapy department at St James’s University Hospital, and part-time at University of Leeds, where she holds a Yorkshire Cancer Research Fellowship. Her main research focus is on improving radiotherapy treatment for lower gastrointestinal cancers, especially minimizing long term treatment toxicity.
Ane has a background in physics, but has spent the last decade working on cancer research in clinical radiotherapy in the UK and Denmark. She has degrees from Durham and University of Southern Denmark, including a PhD in oncology. She has trained as a medical physicist in multiple hospitals in Denmark, and is a registered clinical scientist in the UK. Additionally, she has held a postdoctoral position at Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, with several long stays as visiting researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
Samantha Noutch is a senior clinical trial coordinator, with a background in early phase clinical trial project management. Samantha has experience in running clinical trials in a project management and site management setting for both the pharmaceutical industry and academic trials.
Samantha has a background in neuropsychopathology and biomedical science, specialising in pharmacology. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Bradford, England.
Trial Management and Delivery