Iomab-B for active, relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukaemia in older patients (aged 55 years and older)

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Year: 2017

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a type of cancer that causes the bone marrow to produce lots of immature white blood cells. It is diagnosed in around 2,400 people in England each year, and is most common in people aged 65 years and over. Risk factors for AML include repeated exposure to benzene (usually through smoking or in the workplace), certain genetic disorders and some auto immune conditions (including rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis). The first stage of treatment is chemotherapy, to kill the leukaemia cells and many of the bone marrow cells. This may be followed by more chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant to achieve a cure.
Iomab-B is a drug being developed to prepare patients for bone marrow transplant in a safer way, reducing the side-effects of radiation. The drug acts in two ways, firstly by delivering the radioactive component of the drug directly to the cancer growth within the bone marrow, and secondly, by killing the cancer and bone marrow cells while avoiding the effects of radiation on most healthy tissues. Iomab-B has the potential to reduce the time needed to prepare AML patients for transplant and may also increase the number of patients considered eligible for transplant. The drug is administered intravenously.