Evaluating sixty years of UK trials research in acute myeloid leukaemia: lessons for trial design, past, present and future.
Since the launch of their first trial in Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in 1959, the Medical Research Council (and latterly National Cancer Research Institute) has conducted randomised trials in AML uninterrupted for six decades. These sixty years have seen a transformation in the way we diagnose, characterise and treat the disease, (and indeed a sea change in clinical trial regulations) and a continuing improvement in outcomes. The increasing refinement of diagnosis, leading to the advent of tailored therapies, and the use of disease monitoring both have the potential to improve outcomes further, but the associated complexities will require an evolution in our approach to trial design. This article looks at the extent to which the guiding principles of the first AML trials remain relevant today, and the challenges facing the next generation of trials methodologists.