Professor Charles Sawyer explains that Gleevec is a pill taken once a day and works remarkably well in all phases of CML.
Charles Sawyer, M.D. is professor of medicine and director of the Prostate Cancer Program Area at U.C.L.A. Johnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He works on therapies that target specific mutations in prostate cancer and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Here he describes his work developing a targeted therapy for CML patients with resistance to the anti-cancer drug Gleevec.
“So Gleevec is a pill taken once a day and it is, works remarkably well in all phases of CML. So at the beginning, it was tested in patients with CML who had it for many years and failed standard chemotherapy type treatments. It worked extremely well there, and now is used as front line therapy in essentially all patients with CML. It's taken once a day, there's very little in the way of side effects. Patients live essentially a normal life. If patients are in the later stages' of CML when they start Gleevec, it works quite well, but resistance develops generally after six months to a year. When patients who are newly diagnosed with CML start Gleevec, so far it appears to be working remarkably well for three to four years now of follow-up. That's the longest follow-up we have. But about 15% of patients have developed resistance in that early diagnosis group.”
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Professor Charles Sawyer explains that CML stands for chronic myeloid leukemia, which is a blood cancer and it is different from many cancers because it starts very slowly and patients when they're first diagnosed don't have many symptoms.