Skip to content

Leukemia & Lymphoma

Font Size
A
A
A

New Leukemia Drug Gets FDA Nod

By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 7, 2012 -- The FDA has approved Pfizer's Bosulif for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) for people who do not respond to or who cannot tolerate other treatments.

CML is a relatively rare disease. It strikes about 5,400 people a year. Most people have a rare mutation, dubbed the Philadelphia mutation, which causes the bone marrow to make too much tyrosine kinase enzyme. Bosulif inhibits this enzyme.

Other drugs approved for CML -- Gleevec and Tasigna from Novartis and Sprycel from Bristol-Myers Squibb -- inhibit tyrosine kinase in other ways.

"With the approval of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, we are seeing improvements in the treatment of CML based on a better understanding of the molecular basis of the disease," said Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the FDA's office of hematology and oncology products, said in a news release.

In clinical trials, 55% of CML patients previously treated with Gleevec or other drugs had a return to normal blood counts with no sign of leukemia within the first 48 weeks of treatment with Bosulif.

The most common side effects of Bosulif are diarrhea, nausea, low blood platelet levels, vomiting, abdominal pain, rash, anemia, fever, and fatigue.

Today on WebMD

stem cells
What are they and why do we need them?
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Do you know the symptoms?
 
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW
New Treatments For Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
FEATURE
 
Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Pets Improve Your Health
SLIDESHOW