Oncology & Cancer

Study shows strong long-term survival rates for patients with GIST

Nine years ago, SWOG researchers confirmed a new standard of care for patients with incurable gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), who could survive by being treated with imatinib mesylate, the breakthrough drug marketed ...

Diabetes

New hope for a type 2 diabetes cure

The cancer treatment drug Imatinib, otherwise known as Gleevec is approved to treat various forms of cancer, mostly notably chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, researchers have stumbled onto another possible use for ...

Oncology & Cancer

Using generic cancer drug could save many millions of dollars

With the expiration in January of the patent on Gleevec, the drug that 15 years ago changed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) from a death sentence to a treatable illness, insurance companies and patients have the opportunity ...

Oncology & Cancer

Could common diabetes drugs help fight leukemia?

Common diabetes drugs might help eradicate drug-resistant cancer cells in a certain form of leukemia when added to standard treatment, a small new study suggests.

Oncology & Cancer

Anchoring ABL for a better fate

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) is a cancer of the white blood cells that is most commonly found in adults and in the elderly. Its incidence has been estimated to be 1 to 2 in 100,000 people. CML was the first cancer to ...

Medications

Doctors say cancer drug costs are too high

More than 100 doctors from around the world have signed a letter decrying the high cost of cancer drugs which reach $100,000 per year or more, and calling for pharmaceutical companies to ease prices.

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Imatinib

Imatinib (originally STI571) is a drug used to treat certain types of cancer. It is currently marketed by Novartis as Gleevec (USA) or Glivec (Europe/Australia/Latin America) as its mesylate salt, imatinib mesilate (INN). It is used in treating chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) and some other diseases. By 2011, Gleevec has been FDA approved to treat ten different cancers. In CML, the tyrosine kinase enzyme ABL is locked in its activated form. It induces the abnormal phenotypes of CML: excessive proliferation and high white blood cell count. Imatinib binds to the site of tyrosine kinase activity, and prevents its activity, thereby causing tumor cell apoptosis.

Imatinib is the first member of a new class of agents that act by specifically inhibiting a certain enzyme that is characteristic of a particular cancer cell, rather than non-specifically inhibiting and killing all rapidly dividing cells, and served as a model for other targeted therapy modalities through tyrosine kinase inhibition.

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