Scleroderma Foundation Medical Advisory Board Offers Consensus On Gleevec PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 November 2009 18:35
Gleevec® (imatinib mesylate, Novartis) is approved in the United States for the treatment of certain forms leukemias and solid tumors. The recent discovery that Gleevec® inhibits important cellular enzymes that control fibrosis led to studies to evaluate Gleevec® for the treatment of non-malignant diseases, including chronic graft-versus-host disease, lung fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and systemic sclerosis. As of November 1, 2009 the Clinicaltrials.gov website lists 119 on-going treatment trials with Gleevec®, including six in systemic sclerosis.

Preliminary results from several small open-label clinical trials of Gleevec® in systemic sclerosis were presented at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Philadelphia (October 18, 2009). While some of the studies report softening of the skin and stabilization of lung abnormalities, the results represent only interim analysis, and studies are still on-going. Side effects (not necessarily related to the study medication) including swelling and fluid retention, nausea, muscle aching and elevated muscle enzymes, and fatigue were common, and in some cases led to discontinuing the medication.

The efficacy and safety of Gleevec® for the treatment of systemic sclerosis are still not well understood, and the interim results from uncontrolled clinical trials are too preliminary for reliable conclusions. Although preclinical research indicates that Gleevec® might be effective for fibrosis, such results cannot be directly extrapolated into the clinical setting. Some people might respond to Gleevec® while others do not. The safety of Gleevec® in systemic sclerosis needs careful evaluation, as does the right dose and duration of treatment. At this time Gleevec® for the treatment for systemic sclerosis should be limited to research studies.

Article courtesy the Scleroderma Foundation.
 
More articles :

» Gene Profiling of Scleroderma Skin Reveals Robust Signatures of Disease...

Humphrey Gardner, Jeffrey R. Shearstone, Raj Bandaru, Tom Crowell, Matthew Lynes, Maria Trojanowska, Jaspreet Pannu, Edwin Smith, Stefania Jablonska, Maria Blaszczyk, Filemon K. Tan, and Maureen D. MayesARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISMVol. 54, No. 6, June...

» Researchers Find Small Group Of ANA & RP Negative Patients

There exists a very small subgroup of patients with (SSc) who lack circulating (ANA) and who do not have Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), research shows. These patients also fail to meet any of the diagnostic criteria for known SSc mimics.The...

» Glutamine: Explained

Glutamine is the most abundant (building block of protein) in the body. The body can make enough glutamine for its regular needs, but extreme stress (the kind you would experience after very heavy exercise or an injury), your body may need more...

» Genetic Accelerator Linked To Most Severe Cases of Lupus

A "genetic accelerator" is responsible for the most severe cases of Lupus (), an autoimmune disease: the accelerator, called enhancer HS1.2, speeds up the activity of some critical genes of the immune system involved in the disease.A team of Italian...

» Mechanism ID’d for Benefit of Stem Cells in Autoimmunity

Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) activate a mechanism involving coupling of FAS/FAS ligand to induce T cell apoptosis and immune tolerance, according to an experimental study published online April 26 in Cell Stem Cell.To investigate the...

» Th22 Cells As Milestone Of Immunological Research

The newly discovered Th22 cells are a previously unknown subset of . T helper cells are white blood cells that help activate other immune cells when the body is infected by viruses or bacteria. At the same time they help the body to tolerate own...