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Journal Article

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School of Medical and Health Sciences




New South Wales Dust Disease Board / National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) / Western Australia Cancer and Palliative Care Network / European Respiratory Society / Sir Charles Gairdner Research Advisory Committee


Fitzgerald, D. B., Sidhu, C., Budgeon, C., Tan, A. L., Read, C. A., Kwan, B. C., ... & Lee, Y. C. (2022). Australasian Malignant PLeural Effusion (AMPLE)-3 trial: Study protocol for a multi-centre randomised study comparing indwelling pleural catheter (±talc pleurodesis) versus video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for management of malignant pleural effusion. Trials, 23(1), 1-9.


Introduction: Malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) are common. MPE causes significant breathlessness and impairs quality of life. Indwelling pleural catheters (IPC) allow ambulatory drainage and reduce hospital days and re-intervention rates when compared to standard talc slurry pleurodesis. Daily drainage accelerates pleurodesis, and talc instillation via the IPC has been proven feasible and safe. Surgical pleurodesis via video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is considered a one-off intervention for MPE and is often recommended to patients who are fit for surgery. The AMPLE-3 trial is the first randomised trial to compare IPC (±talc pleurodesis) and VATS pleurodesis in those who are fit for surgery. Methods and analysis: A multi-centre, open-labelled randomised trial of patients with symptomatic MPE, expected survival of ≥ 6 months and good performance status randomised 1:1 to either IPC or VATS pleurodesis. Participant randomisation will be minimised for (i) cancer type (mesothelioma vs non-mesothelioma); (ii) previous pleurodesis (vs not); and (iii) trapped lung, if known (vs not). Primary outcome is the need for further ipsilateral pleural interventions over 12 months or until death, if sooner. Secondary outcomes include days in hospital, quality of life (QoL) measures, physical activity levels, safety profile, health economics, adverse events, and survival. The trial will recruit 158 participants who will be followed up for 12 months. Ethics and dissemination: Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Health Care Group (HREC) has approved the study (reference: RGS356). Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings. Discussion: Both IPC and VATS are commonly used procedures for MPE. The AMPLE-3 trial will provide data to help define the merits and shortcomings of these procedures and inform future clinical care algorithms. Trial registration: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry ACTRN12618001013257. Registered on 18 June 2018. Protocol version: Version 3.00/4.02.19



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.