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Kate Law, Cancer Research UK's director of clinical research, added:
Chief investigator Professor Alan Burnett, from Cardiff Universitys School of Medicine, commented on the findings:
The results of the trial into a new type of smart drug given to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia patients show that GO treatment could improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy without excessively increasing side effects, according to the study.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, said that this may provide a potential lifeline for older AML patients who are often too frail to tolerate more intensive chemotherapy regimes.
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia patients given a new type of smart drug in addition to chemotherapy treatment are 22 percent less likely to relapse and around 13 percent less likely to die from their disease, according to a study released today.
The results from the major phase III Cancer Research UK-funded trial led by Cardiff University and trialled by 1,115 patients, found that 68 percent of people relapsed on the new treatment within three years, compared with 76 percent of those who had only had the standard treatment.
25 percent of those tested were still alive after three years, compared with 20 per cent of those who had the standard treatment.
The drug - called Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin (GO)* - is part of a new class of antibody conjugate drugs, which involve attaching chemotherapy molecules to antibodies.