A trial looking at treatment for acute promyelocytic leukaemia (AML 19)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Acute leukaemia
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Blood cancers




Phase 3

This trial is looking at treatment for a type of acute myeloid leukaemia called acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL). It is for people who are fit enough to have treatment. This trial is supported by Cancer Research UK.

More about this trial

The treatment of acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) is part of a larger trial looking at many different treatments for other types of AML (not APL) and high risk Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). High risk MDS may develop into AML over time. 

The treatment for people with other types of AML and MDS is explained in A trial looking at different treatments for acute myeloid leukaemia and high risk myelodysplastic syndromes.

Everyone with APL in this trial has the same treatment. This treatment was looked at in an earlier trial and worked very well.

Everyone is followed closely by their doctor during and after their treatment. Doctors also want to see what effect your treatment and monitoring has on your quality of life.

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this trial. If you are unsure about any of these speak with your doctor or the trial team. They will be able to advise you. 

You may be able to join this trial if all of the following apply. You

  • Have acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL)
  • Are well enough to be up and about for at least half the day (performance status 0, 1 or 2
  • Have satisfactory blood test results
  • Are aged over 16 years
  • Are willing to use reliable contraception during treatment and for 1 month afterwards if there is any chance that you or your partner could become pregnant

You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You

  • Have certain heart problems 
  • Have problems with numbness and tingling in your hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy) unless this is only mild
  • Have any other cancer that needs treatment 
  • Are HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) positive 
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trial design

This is a phase 3 trial. The researchers need 3000 people to join the whole of the AML 19 trial (including people with AML and high risk MDS). 

In this trial you have treatment called AIDA. This includes the drugs

You have tretinoin as tablets every day for 60 days. You have idarubicin through a drip into a vein on 4 different occasions over a period of about 1 week.

This is the 1st course of treatment.

You have 3 further courses of AIDA, each about 1 month apart. For these courses you have 

  • Tretinoin tablets twice a day, every day for 15 days 
  • 4 or 5 treatments with idarubicin (or a similar drug) over a period of 7 days

Everyone having AIDA will be asked to fill out a questionnaire at the start of treatment and on 2 more occasions during treatment. This will ask you about your quality of life.

You then finish treatment as part of this trial. Your doctor will discuss further appointments and treatment with you.

Hospital visits

You will see the doctors and have some tests before you start treatment. The tests include 

You have the above tests again during and after your treatment.

You may be able to have some of your treatment as a day patient, so you go home the same day. You still need to go to hospital quite often (for example 2 to 3 times a week) to see a doctor, have tests and have your treatment, if it is due.  

Your doctor or nurse will explain how often you need to visit hospital during and after your treatment.

Side effects

The most common side effects of treatment with AIDA includes

We have more detailed information about

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Nigel Russell

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Cardiff University
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/13/35

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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