A trial looking at bezafibrate and medroxyprogesterone for some types of leukaemia and lymphoma

Cancer type:

Acute leukaemia
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Blood cancers
Chronic leukaemia
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma




Phase 2

This trial looked at bezafibrate and medroxyprogesterone to treat several different blood cancers Open a glossary item. It was for people with:

  • acute myeloid leukaemia Open a glossary item (AML)
  • myelodysplastic syndromes Open a glossary item (MDS)
  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
  • B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma Open a glossary item (NHL)

The trial was open for people to join between 2012 and 2014. The team published the results in 2019.

More about this trial

Doctors often treat leukaemia and lymphoma with chemotherapy. But sometimes the cancer starts to grow again.

They wanted to find out if bezafibrate and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) are useful for people in this situation. This combination of treatment is called BaP.

Bezafibrate is a drug that was already being used to help lower cholesterol. Medroxyprogesterone acetate is a type of hormone therapy. When this trial was done, it was already being used to treat breast and prostate cancer.

Everyone taking part in this trial had the same treatment. They took bezafibrate and medroxyprogesterone acetate tablets every day. They had treatment for as long as it was working and the side effects weren’t too bad.

The main aims of this small trial were to find out:

  • if bezafibrate and medroxyprogesterone are useful for certain types of leukaemia and lymphoma
  • more about the side effects

Summary of results

A total of 18 people joined this trial. This is fewer than the research team were hoping for. 

There were:

  • 16 people with either acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) or high risk  myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • 1 person with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
  • 1 person with B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)

The team found that bezafibrate caused some serious side effects. Most people had to have a break from treatment or stop taking it. The people taking part started taking quite a low dose to begin with. But even this caused side effects. They weren’t able to take the planned higher dose.

These side effects included:

  • an increase in a protein called creatinine kinase, caused by the breakdown of muscle tissue
  • changes in blood tests that show how well the kidneys are working  
  • muscles aches (myalgia)

Medroxyprogesterone acetate didn’t cause too many side effects. Most people were able to take it as planned. 

The team looked at how well the treatment worked. They found that one person’s blood tests had improved a little. But there had been no change for most people.

The team concluded that the combination of bezafibrate and medroxyprogesterone acetate was not a useful treatment for people with AML or high risk MDS. 

They weren’t able to draw any conclusions for people with CLL or B cell NHL. This is because there was only one person with each cancer in the trial.

Sometimes trials show treatments aren’t useful for a particular type or stage Open a glossary item of cancer. But these trials still add to our knowledge and understanding of cancer and how to treat it.

More detailed information
There is more information about this research in the reference below. 

Please note, the information we link to here is not in plain English. It has been written for healthcare professionals and researchers.

Single arm phase II trial assessing the safety, compliance with and activity of Bezafibrate and medroxyProgesterone acetate (BaP) therapy against myeloid and lymphoid cancers 
J Murray and others
Contemporary Clinical Trials Communication, 2019 Jun. Issue 14, article 100361.

Where this information comes from    
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. This has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. We have not analysed the data ourselves. As far as we are aware, the link we list above is active and the article is free and available to view.

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 Mark Drayson

Supported by

Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit Birmingham
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Charities
University of Birmingham

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

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.

Last reviewed:

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