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

A lethal cancer knocked down by one-two drug punch

In the battle against cancer, allies can come from unexpected sources. Research at The Jackson Laboratory has yielded a new approach to treating leukemia, one that targets leukemia-proliferating cells with drugs that are ...

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 ...

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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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