- History - May 26 Wonder 2017: Watch Vikings battle and create body parts from jelly
- Medicine - May 26 Regeneration of deprived neighbourhoods can improve residents’ mental health
- Administration - May 24 Norwegian Minister visits Imperial’s innovative Data Science Institute
- Medicine - May 24 Vet School academic to feature on BBC’s Countryfile Spring Diaries
- Medicine - May 24 QMUL hosts conference on mental health and military
- Medicine - May 24 Ageing population with care needs set to grow by 25% within a decade
- Medicine - May 23 Revolutionary eye drops could prevent blindness in diabetes patients
- History - May 23 Project’s support for festival
- Medicine - May 22 Readily available antibiotic could help to curb lung damage from TB
- Medicine - May 22 Double award for innovative teacher of Anatomy
- Life Sciences - May 22 Animal welfare and research 3Rs symposium
- Medicine - May 19 Opinion: Maintaining the same weight as you age may prevent diabetes - even if you’re overweight to begin with
New cancer study
The first patient has been successfully recruited into an important new cancer study being co-ordinated by a team of experts at Cardiff University. The trial could have profound ramifications for treatment of an uncommon form of cancer that affects the elderly, who cannot tolerate aggressive chemotherapy treatments.
MONOCLE is a ‘phase 2’ trial to test the effectiveness of the drug tefinostat, as well as monitor for side effects in patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML).
CMML causes a build-up of cells called monocytes in the bone marrow and blood. Tefinostat is a drug, taken by mouth, which only becomes active after it is inside monocytes. In lab studies, performed in the Cardiff Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC), tefinostat was effective against monocyte tumours, including CMML and some types of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
Pressing need for new drug treatments
CMML mainly affects older people and the average length of survival is 18 months. There are currently very few treatment options for CMML, and there is a pressing need for new drug treatments which can target the abnormal monocytes without causing unacceptable side effects.
The Phase II trial will be led by Principal Investigator, Dr Steve Knapper, Clinical Reader in the Division of Cancer and Genetics at Cardiff University. Dr Knapper is co-lead of the Early Phase Clinical Trials work package in the Wales Cancer Research Centre. The trial will be managed by the largest team of academic clinical trials staff in Wales, the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University.
Dr Knapper commented: “We are really excited to be in a position to open MONOCLE which will, for the first time, allow us to assess the effects of tefinostat in patients with CMML - an often-neglected disease..."
Blood and bone marrow samples from MONOCLE patients will be tested in the Cardiff laboratory to help better understand how tefinostat works and to identify which patients are most likely to benefit in future.
Tolerability and safety
MONOCLE aims to determine the tolerability and safety of the Tefinostat compound. There are currently no other CMML-specific studies being held in UK.
Dr Alasdair Rankin, Director of Research at Bloodwise, said: “The outlook for CMML is currently extremely poor, with only around a 20% five-year relative survival rate and traditional chemotherapy-based treatments unsuitable for the majority of older patients..."
Our portfolio of work includes drugs trials and complex interventions, mechanisms of disease and treatments, cohort studies and informing policy and practice.
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