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 chemotherapy for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinaemia or lymphoma of the spleen (WM1)
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Doctors treat Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia or lymphoma of the spleen with chemotherapy. Fludarabine and chlorambucil are drugs that are commonly used. Doctors knew that both drugs worked but wanted to find out which drug worked the best.
This trial compared them to find out which was better and more about their side effects.
Summary of results
The trial team found that fludarabine was better than chlorambucil to treat Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia or lymphoma of the spleen.
When the researchers looked at the number of people whose lymphoma responded to treatment they found that
- 53 out of every 100 people (53%) had fludarabine
- 43 out of every 100 people (43%) had chlorambucil
The average time people were free of their lymphoma was
- 3 years for those who had fludarabine
- Just over 2 years for those who had chlorambucil
5 years after treatment, the team looked at how many people were alive. They found that
- 62 out of every 100 (62%) had chlorambucil
- 70 out of every 100 (70%) had fludarabine
The worst side effect for both fludarabine and chlorambucil was a drop in blood cells.
The trial team concluded that fludarabine was better than chlorambucil to treat Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia or lymphoma of the spleen.
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 (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Roger G Owen
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust