Since its first administration on human subjects suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia in 2001, Gleevec proved to be the most efficient drug therapy with the most promising improvements. Its targeted action on cancerous white blood cells produced by the abnormally functioning bone marrow also showed less side-effects comparing to prior used drugs. Gleevec has a small rate of toxicity causing nausea, skin rashes or fluid retention but is far more advantageous than drugs injuring internal organs like heart, kidneys or lungs or attacking normal tissues while killing cancer cells.
Since 2001 Gleevec has been successfully used in curing other cancer types as well, due to its targeted action on the abnormal tyrosine kinases sending wrong signals to active cells. At least three other cancerous conditions are known to be caused by genetically modified tyrosine kinases. The gastrointestinal stromal tumor was earlier a very difficult to treat disease; it is caused by a different type of tyrosine kinases than the one responsible for chronic myeloid Leukemia but Gleevec could successfully inhibit it as well.
About 60% of the patients with this tumor treated with Gleevec showed remarkable improvement and real benefic effects but doctors must still wait a few years to know how long the effects will last.
The chronic myelomonocytic leukemia is another very rare encountered blood disease upon which Gleevec proved to be efficient. Myelomonocytic Leukemia is a particular type of myeloid Leukemia also caused by a genetically modified tyrosine kinases. The third cancerous condition with great improvements after the chemotherapy with Gleevec is the hypereosinophilic Syndrome, another blood cancer with an abnormally high multiplication rate of the eosinophilic blood cells responsible for fighting against parasite-linked diseases and allergies.
Eosinohils are a type of white blood cells representing about 3-5% of the total number of leucocytes in the human blood. The hypereosinophilic syndrome develops with an accumulation of outnumbered eosinophils inside the bloodstream. They have major toxic properties in large numbers and have toxic effects on tissues such as heart and nervous system. This disease is known to have multiple causes and therefore many possible pathological types. The study with Gleevec administration was made on the chronic hypereosinophilic Leukemia and the patients’ condition was substantially improved.
The detection of Gleevec was a real scientific success as it was able to treat conditions with no other possible therapies. In case of the chronic myeloid Leukemia the bone transplant is the most efficient cure but is has many side-effects and can only be performed on some patient types. Gleevec was a second chance for the patients with real benefits as it can be self-administered due to its pill form.
Gleevec is not yet the magic cure in cancer as it can produce no molecular changes on genetic mistakes but its discovery has shown that we are close to finding a real therapy for cancer.
For greater resources about Leukemia please visit these pages http://www.leukemia-guide.com/leukemia-causes.htm or http://www.leukemia-guide.com/chronic-leukemia.htm