Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gleevec Weakens Hearts

Reuters: Imatinib mesylate, marketed under the name Gleevec by Novartis, and a potent cancer chemotherapeutic drug, especially for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST), was reported today in Nature Medicine to cause a weakened heart muscle in a series of patients treated with the medication. The real question: was this noted before in clincial trials? Anyone know? Interesting that they tested this toxicity in rats and noted toxicity to cardiac cells. Aren't animal trials typically done before human trials?

For a great description of dealing with CML from the patient's perspective, there's a long-standing "Cancer Diary" by Erin Zammett Ruddy, an editor at Glamour Magazine. She, too, is taking Gleevec.


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