Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at having a radiolabelled monoclonal antibody before an autologous stem cell transplant for myeloma
This trial looked at a radiolabelled monoclonal antibody for people with myeloma. It was for people having high dose chemotherapy, followed by treatment with their own blood stem cells (autologous stem cell transplant).
More about this trial
Doctors often treat myeloma with high dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Some people also have radiotherapy. But high doses of drugs and radiotherapy can cause damage to normal cells as well as cancer cells.
Researchers are looking at ways of targeting treatment, so that it reaches the cancer cells but causes less damage to healthy tissue. In this trial they looked at a type of biological therapy called a monoclonal antibody (MAB).
The monoclonal antibody was radiolabelled. This means it has a radioactive molecule attached to it. The antibody targets a particular protein on the surface of myeloma cells, and then the radioactivity kills the cells.
The aims of this trial were to
- Find out if this radiolabelled MAB helped people who were having a stem cell transplant for myeloma
- Learn more about the side effects
Summary of results
The team found the radiolabelled MAB did help people who were having a stem cell transplant for myeloma.
- 12 people had the radiolabelled MAB then melphalan and stem cell transplant
- 13 people had melphalan and stem cell transplant
Of the 25 people the researchers were able to look at the results of 24. There were 12 people from each group.
The team looked at the total number of people whose myeloma had responded to treatment. They found that
- 12 people who had the radiolabelled MAB had
- 9 people who had melphalan only had
They also looked at the number of people who didn’t have any sign of their myeloma after the transplant. This is called a complete response. They found this happened in
- 6 people who had the radiolabelled MAB
- 3 who had melphalan only
The researchers said that this couldn’t have happened by chance and so it was
The trial team concluded that the radiolabelled MAB improved the response of myeloma after having a stem cell transplant without any additional side effects.
The researchers are publishing a paper with more detailed results. When this becomes available we will update this summary.
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 Kim Orchard
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Southampton Clinical Trials Unit (University of Southampton)