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 an antibiotic to try to prevent infections in people having treatment for myeloma (TEAMM)
This trial looked at an antibiotic called levofloxacin to see if it reduced the risk of infection and death in people starting treatment for myeloma.
More about this trial
Because myeloma affects the immune system, people who have it are at a greater risk of picking up infections. This infection risk is much higher when the myeloma is active and you start treatment.
Researchers in this trial looked at reducing the risk of infection from the start. Rather than waiting to see if an infection developed and then treat it.
They tested an
In this trial half of the people taking part took levofloxacin for 12 weeks when they started treatment for myeloma and the other half took a dummy tablet (
The aim of this trial was to see if taking levofloxacin at the start of treatment reduced the risk of infection.
Summary of results
- 489 people had levofloxacin
- 488 people had a dummy drug (
- a high temperature
- a high temperature and died
- 95 of the 489 people (19%) who had levofloxacin
- 134 of the 488 people (27%) who had the dummy drug
12 weeks after treatment the team looked at how many infections were reported in each group. They found that the total number of infections reported was 586. In the levofloxacin group there were 257 infections (44%) reported. In the dummy drug group there were 329 infections (56%) reported.
315 people were also taking sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP) to prevent infection. Researchers said that having SMZ-TMP in addition to levofloxacin had helped reduce the number of high temperatures and deaths.
The team concluded that taking levofloxacin for 12 weeks at the start of treatment for myeloma can help prevent high temperatures and deaths.
The team recommend that future trials look at the value of adding SMZ-TMP to levofloxacin for more than 12 weeks.
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
Professor Mark Drayson
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme
University of Birmingham
University of Warwick