A trial looking at antibiotics for people with cancer to help stop infections (SIGNIFICANT)

Cancer type:

All cancer types




Phase 4

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 (placebo Open a glossary item) for 7 days after chemotherapy treatment when the risk of developing an infection is highest.

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 (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

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

Prof Michael Cullen
Dr neil Steven

Supported by

Aventis Pharma
Cancer Research UK
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle - 166

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

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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