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New experimental agent could benefit older leukaemia patients

New experimental agent could benefit older leukaemia patients
17th May 2012

Older adults with chronic leukaemia may benefit from a new experimental agent, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and the James Cancer Hospital claim that the drug ibrutinib can be used successfully in older patients that are generally unable to cope with standard treatments.

Traditional medications and therapies are often too harsh for those who experience chronic leukaemia later on in life and thus are limited when it comes to treatments.

The oral drug has so far shown positive interim results in clinical trials, with few side effects and a one-year survival rate in older adults.

Ibrutinib targets the protein Bruton's tyrosine kinase, which contributes to cancer cell survival and proliferation.

Study co-leader Dr John C Byrd stated: "The high overall response rate and lack of side effects suggests that ibrutinib deserves further study as a first-line treatment in elderly [...] patients."

If successful in passing through the clinical trials, ibrutinib could be key in improving the quality of life of older adults with chronic leukaemia.

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