Newer Drugs Found To Be More Effective Compared to Gleevec

new drugsTwo new studies have revealed that two new drugs, dasatinib (Sprycel) and nilotinib (Tasigna), have shown better results in comparison to imatinib (Gleevec) in treating patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia and should be given priority.

Dr. Charles L. Sawyers, author of an accompanying journal editorial quoted, "This magnitude of success -- beating a drug like imatinib [Gleevec] that was already pretty great -- is possible because we have a very precise understanding of the drug target BCR-ABL and of the mechanisms of resistance to imatinib”.

Newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia patients should probably now receive treatment using one of the new drugs instead of imatinib, he posted.

The first study, spearheaded by Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, randomly assigned 519 patients to Sprycel or Gleevec.

It revealed that 77% of the patients receiving Sprycel showed a complete cytogenetic response after a year compared to 66% of the patients receiving Gleevec.

However, the safety factor associated with both the drugs was discerned to be same, but with five patients receiving Sprycel and nine patients receiving Gleevec witnessed their disease to progress.

The findings, posted to be released Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago, were simultaneously published online on June 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.