The study involved 1,500 patients, among whom 904 were given radiotherapy, and 573 were assigned to receive carboplatin. Dr Ben Mead of the Southampton University said that although the relapse rate was similar in both groups, people who were given injections were able to return to normal lives sooner than the radiotherapy group.
"Giving patients a carboplatin injection rather than radiotherapy is less unpleasant with fewer long-term risks," he added. "The initial results of the trial looked encouraging, but we needed to follow patients for another four years before we knew for sure that they had been cured."
The results of the study will be presented Monday at a cancer conference in Birmingham.