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Novartis as an Emerging Leukemia Treatment

12/05/2000

Question:

I have just learned that Novartis has a new experimental drug which has shown effective results in treating leukemia, specifically CML. Is there any reason why such a drug would not also prove effective in treating MDS (myelodysplastics syndrome)? Where can I find the Novartis clinical trials' site?

Answer:

Novartis`new drug, currently known as STI571 , is under investigation for the treatment of leukemias which are caused by a specific rearrangement of chromosomes 9 and 22 producing a unique structure, the "Philadelphia chromosome." There are five clinical trials in existence for STI571. You may find out about them and where they are located by reviewing either the ClinicalTrials or National Cancer Institute web sites below. The Philadelphia chromosome is not usually found in a person who has myelodysplastic syndrome. It is not known yet whether STI571 would be effective in anything other than leukemias which have a Philadelphia chromosome.

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Response by:

Judith A Westman, MD Judith A Westman, MD
Associate Professor, Clinical Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Medical Biochemistry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University