Doctors Find Cancer Drug Surprise

    May 16, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

An amazing bit of good news from the world of medicine, where doctors treating a blood disorder may have had greater impact.

According to the Associated Press, an experimental drug for treating myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, made the disease undetectable in about half the patients tested. MDS occurs more commonly than leukemia, and causes a victim to undergo blood transfusions about every eight weeks to combat its effects.

The drug, Revlimid, made by Celgene Corp., will likely get to market now in light of the findings, according to a Vanderbilt cancer specialist reviewing the findings, Dr. David Johnson.

MDS affects a patient’s ability to have new red blood cells created from bone marrow. The disease primarily affects older people and is usually fatal, according to the American Cancer Society.

In the study, reported on in Orlando at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s conference, doctors hoped to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with MDS. 115 people were studied, and after 6 months of taking Revlimid, two-thirds no longer required transfusions. That number increased to three-fourths after one year.

The best part of the results showed that signs of the disease were greatly reduced in 81 patients. 51 patients had the disease completely disappear.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.