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Trial of novel leukaemia drug is stopped for second time after two more deaths

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 25 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6376
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

A trial that had already been stopped and restarted in July, after three participants died,1 2 has been suspended once again after two more patients died.

Juno Therapeutics of Seattle, Washington, stopped its phase II trial into an immunological treatment for acute lymphocytic leukaemia on 23 November after two patients died. They had symptoms identical to those of the first three patients who died: brain swelling caused by excess fluids (cerebral oedema).

Although patients enlisted in the trial all had a lethal disease and few options left, questions are likely to be asked …

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