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Cancer Wonder Drug

ST1 571, or Imatinib, also known as 1) ___ is a cancer pill, approved by the FDA in 2001, that is being used to treat CML, 2) ___ ___ ___and may be effective in treating certain types of brain, specifically glioblastoma, as well as stomach cancers, especially gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), a rare cancer of the digestive system’s connective tissue. STI-571 is a part of a growing group of molecularly targeted treatments in which drugs are designed to treat diseases with specific 3) ___ changes. It blocks a signal that the abnormal 4) ___ sends out, preventing the abnormal growth and production of other cancerous cells. In GIST, imatinib blocks a different abnormal enzyme found on the tumor cells. The drug has turned one of the commonest forms of leukemia from a deadly disease to a manageable chronic illness. Trials have shown that around 90% of patients with CML who take Gleevec are alive and well after 5) ___ years. Gleevec is also showing good progress with related cancers. Although it does not cure the cancer, it keeps it under control. This one-a-day cancer pill is hailed a life-saver. It is recommended for those for whom a 6 ___ ___ transplant – the normal radical treatment for CML – is not an option. Patients will have to take the drug for 7) ___ and although it takes some weeks normally before real benefits can be measured, it means that the leukaemia becomes manageable. Imatinib is being investigated for its effectiveness against other kinds of cancer, as well, including acute lymphocytic leukemia and hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES). 8) ___, the maker of imatinib, has a Patient Assistance Program, (PAP) to help patients who may be eligible for financial assistance in covering the cost of the drug.

ANSWERS: 1) Gleevec; 2) chronic myeloid leukaemia; 3) genetic; 4) protein; 5) five; 6) bone marrow; 7) life; 8) Novartis