A trial of vosaroxin with cytarabine for acute myeloid leukaemia (VALOR)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Acute leukaemia
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Blood cancers




Phase 3

This trial is looking at a new drug called vosaroxin in combination with cytarabine to treat acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) that has not responded to treatment or has come back after the first treatment.

Doctors usually treat AML with chemotherapy. But sometimes the AML doesn’t go away or starts to grow again. When this happens doctors do not know the best way to treat it.

Vosaroxin is a new chemotherapy drug. Doctors want to find out if vosaroxin and cytarabine are better at treating AML than cytarabine alone.

The aims of the trial are to

  • Find out if vosaroxin and cytarabine together is better at treating AML that has not responded to treatment or has come back after the first treatment than cytarabine alone
  • Learn more about the side effects

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this trial if you

  • Have acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) that has not responded to treatment or has come back after your first treatment
  • Are well enough to be up and about for at least half the day (performance status 0, 1, or 2)
  • Have satisfactory blood test results
  • Are willing to use reliable contraception during the study and for 30 days afterwards if there is any chance that you or your partner could become pregnant
  • Are at least 18 years old

You cannot enter this trial if you

  • Have a type of AML called acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL)
  • Have AML in your brain or spinal cord (central nervous system Open a glossary item)
  • Have had more than 2 cycles of chemotherapy to try to get rid of AML (induction chemotherapy)
  • Have had cytarabine in the last 3 months
  • Have had treatment with hydroxyurea in the last 24 hours
  • Have had vosaroxin before
  • Have had treatment as part of another trial the last 2 weeks
  • Have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the last 3 months
  • Have had drugs to dampen down your immune system Open a glossary item in the last 2 weeks
  • Need kidney dialysis
  • Are known to be HIV positive
  • Have an infection that cannot be controlled with medication
  • Have heart problems that are a cause for concern
  • Are still having side effects from earlier treatment, unless they are very mild
  • Have had any other cancer, apart from carcinoma in situ of the cervix or non melanoma skin cancer that was successfully treated at least a year ago
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trial design

This trial will recruit about 675 people from around the world. It is a randomised trial. The people taking part are put into treatment groups by a computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in. And neither of you will know which group you are in either. This is called a double blind trial.

You have treatment every 2 to 8 weeks, this is called a cycle of treatment. The length of a treatment cycle depends on how quickly you recover from any side effects.

People in group 1 have cytarabine on days 1 to 5, and vosaroxin on day 1 and day 4 of each cycle. You have both drugs through a drip into a vein.

People in group 2 have cytarabine on days 1 to 5 and a dummy drug (placebo Open a glossary item) on day 1 and day 4.

You may have up to 4 cycles of treatment.

Hospital visits

You will see the doctors and have some tests before you start treatment. The tests include

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Bone marrow test
  • Heart trace (ECG Open a glossary item)
  • Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram Open a glossary item) or MUGA scan Open a glossary item

During your treatment you see the doctors frequently. You have regular blood, urine and bone marrow tests.

When you finish the treatment, the research team will contact you or your doctor to find out how you are

  • Every month for a year
  • Every 2 months for the next year
  • Then every 3 months

Side effects

The most common side effects of vosaroxin and cytarabine are

We have more information about the side effects of cytarabine in our cancer drugs section.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Jonathan Kell

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 8405

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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