New treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia
Using rational drug design strategies, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Basel, Switzerland, have created a targeted therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) that may ultimately be more effective than Gleevec®, the current frontline treatment. The researchers report in the February issue of Cancer Cell that the new compound, AMN107, is about 20 times more potent than Gleevec and is effective in treating Gleevec-resistant disease in model systems. Dana-Farber’s James Griffin, senior author of the study, said, “The goal of this study was to develop a drug that hits the same target on CML cells as Gleevec does, and to hit more of the target.”
Long-term Celebrex use increases risk of cardiovascular events
Clinical researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) found in December 2004, in a large colorectal cancer prevention study, that patients who were prescribed the arthritis drug celecoxib (Celebrex) daily for an average of almost three years had an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events. Among the events reported were death due to cardiovascular causes, heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. Participants prescribed 200 mg of celecoxib twice a day had a 2.3 times greater risk of these serious cardiovascular events and those who were prescribed 400 mg of celecoxib twice a day had 3.4 times greater risk of these serious cardiovascular events when compared with study participants taking a placebo. Details of this research are published online in the New England Journal of Medicine in advance of a Food and Drug Administration-led joint public meeting of the agency’s Arthritis Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee Feb. 16, 17, and 18.
– Compiled by Alec Solomita