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 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 :

» Long-Term Outcomes of Scleroderma Renal Crisis

Virginia D. Steen, MD, and Thomas A. Medsger Jr., MDPublished: October 17th, 2000

» Liver Autoantibodies in Patients with Scleroderma

Thelma L. Skare & Renato M. Nisihara & Osvaldo Haider & Pedro M. Azevedo & Shirley R. R. UtiyamaReceived: 5 January 2010 / Revised: 13 August 2010 / Accepted: 26 September 2010# Clinical Rheumatology 2010Association between...

» The Clinical Relevance of Autoantibodies in Scleroderma

Khanh T Ho and John D ReveillePublished: 12 February 2003Arthritis Res Ther 2003, 5:80-93 (DOI 10.1186/ar628)© 2003 BioMed Central Ltd (Print ISSN 1478-6354; Online ISSN 1478-6362)Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is associated with several...

» Long-Term Outcomes of Scleroderma Renal Crisis

In a previous study. researchers sought to describe the medical history of a group of patients with Scleroderma Renal Crisis who had been treated with ACE inhibitors. The following is essentially a summary of that study, which was conducted by...

» Nutrition & Dietary Supplements

A comprehensive treatment plan for may include a range of complementary and alternative therapies. Individuals with Scleroderma tend to have deficiencies in many vitamins and minerals. Ask your team of health care providers about the best ways to...

» Scleroderma and Massage Therapy

In a recent patient group meeting, we had the immense pleasure and honour of sitting with Rinalda, a local massage therapist, to discuss the importance of massage therapy and how it can help with our Scleroderma.Rinalda noted that from the beginning...