Dozens of cancer-stricken Iowans now have access to a pill which may cure their disease with no radiation, chemotherapy or side effects. The F-D-A has approved a new drug which is seen as a “miracle cure” for a cancer known as C-M-L or chronic myelogenous leukemia.Kara Pederson, a spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society, says between 50 and 100 Iowans have this form of cancer which can now be treated with a pill called Gleevec. Pederson says the fact this potential cure can be delivered in pill form is a very encouraging cancer breakthrough.Pederson says the approval of Gleevec may be a big step toward curing other forms of cancer.Gleevec is taken once a day. University of Iowa Cancer Center Associate Director Roger Gingrich cautions the drug is limited in its use.He says the drug is only usable on patients with CML, and it affects about four people in 100-thousand. Gingrich says in one out of seven patients the drug achieves the “home run” of eradicating the disease. Dr. Gingrich says doctors at the University Cancer Center likely will prescribe Gleevec now that it’s been approved by the FDA.Investigators here will look at the drug, in combination with others, in cases where it may show promise. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that 51 of 53 C-M-L patients were still in remission a year after being treated with the drug. Cancer patients are considered cured after five years without cancer.
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