Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at antibiotics for people with cancer to help stop infections (SIGNIFICANT)
This trial looked at an antibiotic called levofloxacin to help stop infections in people having chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy weakens the immune system. This makes it more likely that people will pick up an infection and have a fever. This large trial looked at using either levofloxacin or dummy drug (
The trial compared levofloxacin with the dummy drug to find out
- How well levofloxacin works to stop infections in people having chemotherapy
- If patients should have levofloxacin between every chemotherapy cycle or not
- More about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that levofloxacin is a useful treatment to help stop infections in cancer patients having chemotherapy.
The trial recruited 1,565 cancer patients having more than one cycle of chemotherapy
- Half had dummy drug (placebo)
- Half had levofloxacin
The researchers analysed the results in 2005. They looked at how many people had a fever due to an infection and how often this happened. They also looked at the number of times people had to go into hospital because they had a fever.
They found that during the whole course of chemotherapy, fewer people in the levofloxacin group had fevers compared to the people in the placebo group. And that the levofloxacin group had fewer hospital admissions because of this.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
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.
Prof Michael Cullen
Dr neil Steven
Cancer Research UK
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)