Traditional cancer treatments often attack both cancer and healthy cells, resulting in debilitating side effects such as fatigue and weight loss. Doctors are excited about a revolutionary cancer treatment that specifically targets cancer cells.
Cancer Treatment that “Hits the Bullseye”
As implied by the name, molecularly targeted therapy involves drugs designed at the molecular level of the cell to attack and destroy specific types of cancer. Glivec (or Gleevec), also known as STI571, is the pioneering drug in this promising new therapy.
These so-called “designer drugs” begin with the identification of an abnormal molecule unique to a particular type of cancer. Scientists can then create a drug that interferes with the function of that molecule.
Glivec: Targeting Leukemia
Glivec has been found to be effective against chronic myeloid leukemia, also known as CML. Dr. Brian Druker, who led the research on Glivec, discovered that scientists have previously used STI571 to treat a rare gastrointestinal cancer that shares an enzyme related to one in CML.
Dr. Druker, who also serves as director of the leukemia program at the Oregon Health Sciences University, believes that STI571 can lead the way in finding the abnormalities in other types of cancer so they can also be treated with molecularly targeted therapy.
FDA approval of Glivec was fast-tracked and the drug is now available from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
Immunotherapy: Non-Toxic State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment
Glivec and other new drugs have the medical community abuzz, but Issels® has experienced decades of success with our personally developed immunotherapy treatments. Visit our website to read and hear testimonials from patients of all ages with all types of cancer.