Clinical trial of new treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia

University of the Sunshine Coast

USC Clinical Trials will soon start a clinical trial to determine the safety and effectiveness of investigational medications to treat acute myeloid leukaemia in patients who have relapsed or are not responsive to standard treatment options.

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a life-threatening blood cancer that affects a person’s blood and bone marrow, preventing the production of normal red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. It is a terminal condition if left untreated.

USC Clinical Trials will work closely with Dr Sorab Shavaksha of the Sunshine Coast Haematology and Oncology Clinic to deliver this clinical trial.

Dr Shavaksha said options for patients whose disease had returned or was unresponsive to standard first-line treatment was very limited, so this research into a potential treatment option would be welcome news to those patients.

“AML often relapses after an initial response to first-line therapy due to leukaemic cells remaining dormant and undetected in a protective ‘niche’ in the bone marrow,” he said.

“Here they are effectively invisible and thus resistant to standard treatment.”

“This study combines the actions of two separate tablet medications – one targeting a specific cancer mutation and the other designed to flush out the leukaemic cells from protective niches so that they are then more susceptible to treatment.”

Participation in the study will include a screening visit, followed by 28-day treatment cycles.

The number of cycles, and therefore study duration, will depend on how individual patients respond to the treatment.

People aged 18 years or older who have medically diagnosed FLT3+ AML that has relapsed or is unresponsive to at least one prior treatment option are invited to register their interest in this study. Further criteria apply and will be discussed at an initial screening.

Those who meet the eligibility criteria and are enrolled in the study will be reimbursed for expenses related to their participation. For more information or to register for the clinical trial, go to usc.edu.au/trials or call (07) 5456 3797.

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