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.
Dr Des Spence has said the method of withholding food and drink from terminally ill patients can offer a "good death" when used properly.
He states that 25 years ago doctors received no training in end of life care, adding: "In hospitals far from their loved ones, patients were left screaming in pain in the dark, and behind unmarked curtains were undignified and peace-less deaths."
The controversial method of withholding food and drink from terminally ill patients so they die quicker has "transformed" end of life care, according to an article in a leading medical journal.
The Liverpool care pathway, which recommends that in some circumstances doctors withdraw treatment, food and water from sedated patients in their final days, means that they can have a "peaceful, pain-free, dignified death" at home, said Glasgow-based general practitioner Dr Des Spence.
The method has come under close scrutiny recently. Reports suggest that doctors are establishing "death lists" of patients to put on the pathway.
Articles also claim that hospitals may be employing the method to cut costs and save on bed spaces.
The report found that surgery rates decline for people as they grow older for a number of treatments including breast cancer operations, joint replacements, prostate cancer treatments and hernias.
While the incidence of breast cancer peaks in patients aged 85 and older, surgery rates decline sharply from the age of 70, the figures indicate.
Pensioners are the main group to receive hip and knee replacements but the rates of surgery in England dropped sharply in patients over the age of 70, according to the data which examines the number of operations between 2008 and 2011.
Thousands of elderly patients are needlessly dying because they are being denied treatment on the grounds of their age, a report has found.
It showed that surgical treatments, which can prolong life and improve living standards for older patients, have been shown to decline as patients get older.
But as the population ages and people are living longer lives, doctors have a "moral duty" to properly care for older patients, according to the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS).
They said that surgeons should no longer look at a patient's age to assume whether they are suitable for surgery, instead their overall health should be taken into consideration, according the report which was conducted by the RCS, Age UK and MHP Health Mandate.