Cancer drug boosts leukaemia treatment

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A CANCER drug tested on patients in Edinburgh has been found to significantly improve the treatment of the most common type of adult leukaemia.

Researchers found that obinutuzumab cut the risk of patients suffering a relapse or death by 86 per cent compared with current standard treatments. The drug – described as the “first of its kind” – was used to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) who also suffer from conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers found that more than one in five patients who received the drug along with standard chemotherapy saw the cancer disappear completely, compared with no patients on the current treatment alone.

Patients at the Western General in Edinburgh were among those taking part in the UK trial

Lead researcher Professor Chris Fegan, from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “These data mark an exciting step forward in the treatment of this disease.”