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 comparing azacitidine with usual treatment for older people with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia
This trial compared a chemotherapy drug called azacitidine with the usual treatment for older people with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
More about this trial
This does not always work for older people (over the age of 65) with AML. So doctors are looking for ways to improve treatment for this group of people.
The researchers thought that another low intensity chemotherapy drug called azacitidine could work better.
The aims of this trial were to
- Find out if azacitidine or usual treatment worked better for newly diagnosed AML in older people
- Learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that azacitidine could be a useful treatment for older people with AML and the side effects were similar to the usual treatments.
488 people age 65 and over took part. Of those,
- 241 had azacitidine and best supportive care
- 247 had 1 of the following 3 usual treatments
o Cytarabine and daunorubicin or idarubicin and best supportive care
o Low dose cytarabine and best supportive care
o Best supportive care
Best supportive care means treatment to help with symptoms or side effects of any leukaemia treatment. This could include
- Blood transfusions
- Antibiotics to fight infection
- Food supplements
The trial team looked at how long people lived for after treatment. They found this was on average
- Just over 10 months for people who had azacitidine
- 6 ½ months for people who had usual treatments
The most common side effects of azacitidine were
- Feeling sick
- A drop in the number of
plateletsand white blood cells
People in the usual treatment groups had similar side effects, apart from the people who had best supportive care alone. They had the fewest side effects.
The trial team suggest that azacitidine is a useful and safe treatment for older patients with newly diagnosed AML.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Michael Potter