Leukaemia clinical trials

Leukaemia clinical trials

We have a portfolio of leukaemia clinical trials that span AML, childhood ALL, CLL, CML and CMML.

We are funding trials that looking at new treatments for AML, including a new monoclonal antibody that specifically targets a protein on AML cells. Research is taking place to test new drug combinations as quickly as possible to find potential new treatments for older people with AML who may not be able to tolerate standard chemotherapies and stem cell transplants. And we want to prevent people from relapsing after stem cell transplants by finding ways to make this procedure more effective.  

We are supporting the UKALL 2011 trial, that aims to find the optimal combination of standard drugs that effectively treats ALL, but with reduced side effects. 

For people with CLL, we have trials that are testing new biological treatments, and in different combinations. Researchers are also looking for treatments that will slow down the disease in its early stages, so we can prevent progression and the need for strong drugs.

We are supporting a trial called DESTINY, that wants to find out if people who have CML and who are doing well on their TKI can safely reduce their TKI dose, or even come off it altogether. We are also running a trial that specifically wants to improve the outlook for people who are doing less well, and have progressed to the more advance stage of CML. 

And for rarer forms of leukaemia, such as hronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML), we are looking at a targeted drug called tefinostat, which could offer a less harsh treatment option than standard chemotherapy. 

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)

Updated 08 Jun 2018

We are supporting a number of exciting clinical trials for people living with AML.

Research is taking place to test new drug combinations as quickly as possible to find potential new treatments for older people with AML. 

We are also funding trials that looking at new treatments for AML, including a new monoclonal antibody that specifically targets a protein on AML cells. 

Preventing relapse after chemotherapy or stem cell transplants is really important because AML can be harder to treat in these circumstances. So doctors are also looking at ways of making stem cell transplantation more effective for people, and to prevent AML from returning after this procedure.

FIGARO trial

Chief investigator - Professor Charles Craddock, University Hospital Birmingham
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
A randomised trial of the FLAMSA-BU conditioning regimen in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and myelodysplasia undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation
This trial is looking at a reduced intensity conditioning regimen called FLAMSA-BU. Researchers think that this treatment could improve outcomes in older people because of reduced side effects and a lower risk of AML or MDS returning. FLAMSA-BU will be compared with standard intensity conditioning.

PRO-DLI

Chief investigator - Dr Victoria Potter, Kings College Hospital, London
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML) Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
A phase II prospective trial of prophylactic donor lymphocyte infusions for the prevention of relapse post HSCT in patients with high risk myeloid malignancy
Stem cell transplantation may cure acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), but unfortunately people can suffer a relapse after transplant. Researchers want to see if giving white blood cells from the stem cell transplant donor can be used after transplantation to prevent relapse.

Optimisation of the graft versus leukaemia effect to improve the outcome of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Lead researcher - Professor Paul Moss, University of Birmingham
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
Optimisation of the graft versus leukaemia effect to improve the outcome of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Researchers led by Professor Moss want to investigate exactly how donor immune cells recognise and kill cancer cells. The aim of this research is to find new ways to increase the strength of GvL so that transplant treatments can be modified to the needs of individual people.

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Ch-ALL)

Children with ALL or a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL) are usually given chemotherapy made up of a number of drugs in different combinations. But chemotherapy can be harsh, particularly in children, so doctors are always looking for ways to reduce the toxicity of treatments. 

We are supporting the UKALL 2011 trial, that aims to find the optimal combination of standard drugs that effectively treats ALL, but with reduced side effects. 

UKALL 2011

Chief investigator - Professor Pamela Kearns, University of Birmingham
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Ch-ALL)
UK Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Trials
This trial is looking at treatment for children who have acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) or a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) called lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL). Researchers want to see if using standard drugs in slightly different ways can achieve the same results but with fewer side effects, and reduce the risk of the blood cancer from returning. 

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) trials

Many people with CLL are treated successfully with chemotherapy and a biological drug called rituximab. But not all people will respond to these treatments, and some eventually relapse, and when CLL returns, it becomes harder to treat. At the moment bone marrow transplantation is the only true cure for CLL, but this treatment can be gruelling, and many people may not be able to undergo this procedure because they are too frail. So we need to find new ways to treat people with CLL.

We are supporting clinical trials that are looking at new drugs and treatment combinations for people with CLL who have relapsed or continued to get worse on their current treatment.

Researchers are also looking for treatments that will slow down the disease in its early stages, so we can prevent progression and the need for strong drugs.

CyCLLe trial

Chief investigator - Professor Stephen Devereux, Kings College London
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
An investigation of the effect of cyclosporine-A in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: Development of a novel in-vivo strategy for dissecting the mechanism of drug action
Researchers are looking for treatments that will slow down the disease in its early stages and prevent progression and the need for such strong drugs. They want to see if cyclosporin A can affect the rate at which leukaemia cells grow, and if this could be an effective treatment for people with early CLL. 

IciCLLe extension

Chief investigator - Professor Peter Hillmen, St James's University Hospital
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
A phase II assessment of the mechanism of action of PCI-32765 in B-cell receptor pathway inhibition in CLL
Bone marrow transplantation is the only cure for CLL at the moment, but some people may not be able to undergo this treatment because they are too frail. Chemotherapy can be effective, but can have serious side effects especially in older people. Researchers know that ibrutinib works for people with CLL, but they want to see if combining it with obinutuzumab gives added benefit.

Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

Drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have significantly improved the outcome for people living with CML. Most people are able to take a daily single pill to control their CML, and can live a normal life. 

But although TKIs can control the disease, people with CML have to stay on their treatment for life, and some may experience substantial side effects to their medication. 

We are supporting a trial called DESTINY, that wants to find out if people who are doing well on their TKI can safely reduce their TKI dose, or even come off it altogether. However, the study is not complete and reducing or stopping treatment will not be right for everyone, so it’s really important that people with CML talk to their doctor before considering any change to their medication.

We are also supporting a trial that specifically wants to improve the outlook for people who are doing less well, and have progressed to the more advance stage of CML. For this group of people, treatment with current TKIs becomes limited because they have already received all the available drugs in succession during the chronic phase. 

Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML)

Updated 08 Jun 2018

Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML) is a chronic disease, so it develops slowly.

Treatment varies according to symptoms, and many people who have no or few symptoms just have regular check-ups. If treatment is needed, people are usually given low dose chemotherapy, or more intensive treatment, such as a stem cell transplant.

Because CMML mainly affects older people, and people who've already had some types of cancer treatment, most people with this type of blood cancer are unsuitable for stem cell transplants. And at the moment, there are limited treatment options beyond this.

We are supporting a trial that is looking at a targeted drug called tefinostat, which could offer a less harsh treatment option. 

MONOCLE trial

Chief investigator - Dr Steve Knapper, Cardiff University
Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML)
A phase 2 study of the monocyte-targeted histone deacetylase inhibitor tefinostat (CHR-2845) in chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML)
Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML) mainly affects older people, so most people are unsuitable for bone marrow transplant therapy, and there are currently very few other treatment options. The MONOCLE trial aims to see if a targeted treatment called tefinostat can help people with CMML. 

PRO-DLI

Chief investigator - Dr Victoria Potter, Kings College Hospital, London
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) Chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML) Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
A phase II prospective trial of prophylactic donor lymphocyte infusions for the prevention of relapse post HSCT in patients with high risk myeloid malignancy
Stem cell transplantation may cure acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), but unfortunately people can suffer a relapse after transplant. Researchers want to see if giving white blood cells from the stem cell transplant donor can be used after transplantation to prevent relapse.