Friday, 14 September 2007

Heart failure rare in leukemia patients on Gleevec

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According to researchers at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, congestive heart failure rarely occurs among leukemia patients who take Gleevec (imatinib).

The study was led by Dr. Jorge Cortes who said that there is no need for routine cardio-specific monitoring of all patients taking imatinib, although those with cardiac history should be close monitored. In a separate paper lasat year, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania reported that imatinib may be cardio-toxic in humans.

Imatinib targets two members of the tyrosine kinase class of enzymes and a hybrid tyrosine kinase known to cause chronic myologenous leukemia (CML) and Ph-postive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Before imatinib, only about half of CML patients survived five years. Now the five year survival rate is 95 percent.

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