SEP 09, 2016 05:55 AM PDT

A New Cancer Drug That Melts Away Tumors?


A new chemotherapy drug for chronic lymphocytic leukemia has been given approval by the FDA. CLL is the most common form of leukemia in adults and this drug has done spectacularly well in clinical trials. It's the kind of drug experts called "target therapy" and it's the newest one in the field of precision medicine for cancer. It targets a specific protein in cancer cells, the BCL 2 protein.

It's been described as "melting away" cancer cells. The BCL2 protein is what drives CLL to spread, allowing the cells to replicate at a breakneck speed. The drug stops this ability, rendering the cancer cells inactive. When the cells can no longer divide, apoptosis-cell death-occurs. The drug is also thought to produce less severe side effects than other chemo drugs. Researchers expect it to cause mild to moderate nausea, but say it will not cause hair loss and it will not result in neuropathy in the extremities as many other cancer drugs do. 80% of patients in the clinical trials had good results. The remainder of patients had more significant side effects and had to stop the drug, experienced a rare complication of renal failure or had more advanced stages of the disease.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 10, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 10, 2018
Heart Attack Or Panic Attack? Knowing When To Seek Help
Chest pain, shortness of breath, and feelings of impending doom are all symptoms representative of both heart attacks and panic attacks. For this reason, i...
NOV 13, 2018
Technology
NOV 13, 2018
Here's Why Hydrogen-Powered Cars Haven't Become Mainstream
The automobile industry today is still dominated by gasoline-powered vehicles, but electric cars like those from Tesla are gaining a lot of traction in the...
NOV 22, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 22, 2018
Why Are Dandelion Seeds So Good at "Flying"?
The seeds of dandelions, pesky and irritating as they are, bear an extraordinary aerodynamic property that allows them to be carried far by the wind. In co...
NOV 26, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 26, 2018
The Fight Bite
  Human bite wounds are a common source of polymicrobial infections accounting for many emergency room visits. One bacteria, Eikenella corrodens, ...
NOV 28, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 28, 2018
Some Animals Thrive in Wildfires
We often associate wildfires with destruction and devastation, but horrendous damages aside, what happens to all the animals that inhabit those forests? As...
DEC 08, 2018
Health & Medicine
DEC 08, 2018
Chronic Fatigue: Where Are We in Our Understanding?
  Ask anyone who suffers from an autoimmune disease or fibromyalgia about the most challenging aspect of their condition, and the answer will be unani...
Loading Comments...