Chris’s research features in prestigious journal

Published 10 February 2021

One of our consultant haematologists is the only UK co-author of a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious journal covering all aspects of clinical medicine.

Chris Pocock is credited in the article outlining the results of a trial using a new oral medication for patients in remission from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, or AML.

He and his team were one of the top recruiters to the trial, which ran for five years, and were selected to take part because of their success recruiting to previous studies with AML patients.

The trial showed that people who took the study drug survived on average 10 months longer than those who took the placebo.

Chris said: “The study focused on people with AML who were over the age of 55, who typically have poor survival rates.

“Although the trial drug is not a cure, and patients still relapse, it gave them an additional 10 months which in the case of elderly AML patients is highly clinically significant. Crucially, it was also associated with a good quality of life. The tablet is easy to take and doesn’t require admission to hospital so it is an important study in improving outcomes for these patients.”

Patients who took the placebo had a median survival of 15 months, whilst those who had the study drug lived for 25 months.

A total of 22 patients were recruited from our Trust, and some are still alive and still taking the drug. It has now been approved as a maintenance drug for patients who are in remission after having chemotherapy treatment.

Chris added: “This study is the first advance in this area that has been shown to prolong survival in older patients with AML.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the team who helped with this – it was a great effort from them as many bone marrow examinations, and complex data entry and patient interaction from the clinical research nursing team were needed.”