Of the 1,115 patients who took part in the trial, 68 per cent relapsed on the new treatment within three years, compared with 76 per cent of those who had the standard treatment. And 25 per cent were still alive after three years, compared with 20 per cent of those who had the standard treatment.
The drug – called Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin (GO) – is part of a new class of 'antibody conjugate' drugs, which involve attaching chemotherapy molecules to antibodies specifically designed to recognise proteins on the surface of cancer cells, thereby targeting the cancer while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
The results of the trial show that adding GO to treatment could improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy without excessively increasing side effects, providing a potential lifeline for older AML patients who are often too frail to tolerate more intensive chemotherapy regimes.
The results are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Chief investigator Professor Alan Burnett, School of Medicine, said: "These promising results demonstrate how targeting a protein present in more than 90 per cent of AML patients can boost treatment without excessively increasing side effects.
"Although there has been some controversy around the use of GO following its withdrawal in the US two years ago, these results appear extremely promising and suggest no such cause for concern if the appropriate dose is given. Crucially, this represents some of the first progress in treating AML patients of this age group for at least 20 years."
Trial participants were recruited at 149 hospitals around the UK and Denmark. All patients had been recently diagnosed with either AML or high risk myelodysplastic syndrome, which can develop into AML, and the majority were aged over 60. Each patient was randomly assigned to receive one of two standard chemotherapy regimes, either with or without GO.
Kate Law, Cancer Research UK's director of clinical research, said: "In general the outlook for leukaemia patients has improved dramatically in recent decades. But when leukaemia is diagnosed in older people it's much harder to treat and there is a real need for effective treatments that are suitable for this age group.
"Importantly this new trial shows that GO may have particular benefits for patients over 60, who may be unsuitable for other more intensive treatments. This is good news and we are now looking to see if these results can be replicated in younger patients."
Professor Alan Burnett | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy