A trial looking at a new way to give alemtuzumab for B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CAM203)

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

Cancer type:

Blood cancers
Chronic leukaemia
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
Leukaemia

Status:

Closed

Phase:

Phase 2

This trial is to see whether giving alemtuzumab (Campath or MabCampath) as an injection just under the skin works as well and is as safe as giving it through a drip into a vein.

Leukaemia is a cancer of the blood forming system. The bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. In B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (‘B cell CLL’), it is white blood cells called ‘B lymphocytes’ that are faulty.

Treatment for CLL depends on how far your disease has developed. Doctors may use chemotherapy or biological therapy, or both. This trial is looking at a new way of giving the biological therapy alemtuzumab. This is a monoclonal antibody. It attaches to a protein, called CD52, on the surface of B lymphocytes. Your immune system then picks out the cells marked with alemtuzumab and kills them.

You usually have alemtuzumab through a drip into a vein. This trial is looking at giving alemtuzumab as an injection just under the skin (‘subcutaneous injection’). This is quicker and, if it works well, may mean that you can have treatment at home. This trial aims to find out

  • How well ‘subcutaneous’ Campath injections work for B cell CLL
  • More about the side effects when you have Campath this way

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you

You cannot enter this trial if you

  • Have B cell CLL which has spread to your brain or spinal cord (central nervous system)
  • Have had chemotherapy in the last 3 weeks, or have not recovered from any severe side effects
  • Have had a bone marrow transplant
  • Have had treatment in another clinical trial in the last 3 weeks, and have not recovered from any severe side effects
  • Have had alemtuzumab (Campath) before
  • Have had a sudden, severe allergic reaction (‘anaphylactic shock’) after antibody treatment of a similar type to alemtuzumab (Campath)
  • Have a severe heart or lung condition
  • Are taking steroids for a long term medical condition (please note, you should not stop taking steroids without talking to your doctor)
  • Have a condition where your red blood cells Open a glossary item are being destroyed (haemolysis) – you can check this with your doctor
  • Have had an infection called cytomegalovirus (CMV) - you can check this with your doctor (if you have this treated you may still be able to take part)
  • Have Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV
  • Have had tuberculosis (TB) in the last 2 years
  • Have an uncontrolled infection
  • Have any other condition that would make you unwell if you took part – you can check this with your doctor
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trial design

This is a phase 2 trial. It will recruit about 85 people worldwide into 3 groups. Everyone will have a course of Campath injections, lasting up to 18 weeks.

Group 1 will recruit 10 people. You will have a Campath injection just under your skin every day, starting with a low dose. If you don’t have any side effects with this dose, you have a higher dose. And so on, until you reach the target dose of Campath. This is called ‘dose escalation’. You then have injections at the target dose 3 times a week until you have had up to 18 weeks of treatment.

Group 2 will recruit 10 people. You will start Campath injections at the target dose. You have these 3 times a week for up to 18 weeks.

Researchers will monitor both groups and decide the best dose and treatment pattern. If you join the trial after this point, you will be in group 3. You will have Campath injections following the new dose and pattern.

As well as Campath, you will take 2 other types of medication. These are to help prevent an allergic reaction. And to help protect you from certain infections during your course of Campath. Nurses will also monitor your blood pressure, pulse and temperature before and after each injection for the first 3 weeks.

Hospital visits

Before you start the trial, you will see the doctor and have some tests. These tests include

You will have a physical examination and blood tests again about every 4 weeks, from a month after you start Campath to 6 months after you finish treatment. You will also have the other tests in this list if you need them.

On the first day of each week of treatment, you will see the doctor and have a blood test. You will visit the hospital for each Campath injection for the first 3 weeks. The nurse will monitor you for 2 hours after each injection. After this time, you may be able to have Campath injections at home. But you would still need to see your doctor for tests at the start of each week. You can discuss this with your trial team.

Unless your cancer has come back, you will see the doctor every 3 months until the end of the trial. Your doctor may repeat any of the tests you had before the trial. If you start another treatment plan, you will just have a blood test at these appointments.

Side effects

One of the reasons for this trial is to learn more about giving alemtuzumab (Campath) as an injection under the skin. So there may be side effects the trial team do not know about yet. Side effects of alemtuzumab given through a drip into a vein include

  • A drop in blood cells, causing an increased risk of infection, bleeding problems, tiredness and breathlessness
  • Feeling and being sick
  • Diarrhoea
  • Chills and shaking (rigors)
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • A drop in blood pressure which may cause dizziness
  • Severe tiredness (fatigue)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itchy skin
  • Increased sweating

You may also a have reaction where you have your alemtuzumab injection. This could include pain, itching, rash, swelling or damage to your skin tissue.

The trial team will monitor you closely. You will have medication to try to prevent or limit these side effects.

Side effects of bone marrow tests include discomfort and bruising at the site where the marrow is taken. Very rarely you may also have bleeding, infection and pain. If you have a sedative Open a glossary item before these tests you may have an allergic reaction, but this is very rare.

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

Professor Peter Hillmen

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Genzyme Therapeutics

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 1628

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

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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