Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study looking at adding treatment to chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia that has not responded, or has come back after treatment (MARALL)
This study looked at veltuzumab and epratuzumab with chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) that has not responded to treatment, or has come back. This study was supported by Cancer Research UK.
More about this trial
Your leukaemia is
This study looked at two treatments called veltuzumab and epratuzumab. They are both types of targeted cancer drugs called monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are a type of immunotherapy. They can seek out cancer cells by looking for particular proteins on the cell’s surface.
Veltuzumab seeks out a protein called CD20, and epratuzumab looks for the CD22 protein. When these antibodies attach to the protein, they kill the cell.
Veltuzumab and epratuzumab had already been studied in clinical trials, but not in people with ALL.
The main aim of this study was to see if adding veltuzumab and epratuzumab to chemotherapy for relapsed ALL is safe.
Summary of results
- 3 people had veltuzumab and chemotherapy (group A)
- 3 people had epratuzumab and chemotherapy (group B)
- 21 people had veltuzumab, epratuzumab and chemotherapy (group C)
The research team looked at the side effects of people in group C. They found that 7 out of 21 people (33%) had side effects caused by the treatment that could be classed as serious. The side effects were varied, and included a blood clot, liver changes and infection or fever. Another 7 people taking part had problems that were not related to the trial treatment.
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Matthew Smith
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Queen Mary University of London
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/08/040.