Drug for 2 forms of leukemia & lymphoma approved in Europe

21 Oct 2014

A new drug against adult relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), and adult chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has been approved in Europe. The drug is called ibrutinib (trade name: imbruvica™) and is taken as a capsule once a day.

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This new approach to treating blood cancers works by blocking the "oral Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK)", a protein that helps certain cancer cells live and grow.

What conditions is this drug for? The details

Ibrutinib is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), or adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have received at least one prior therapy, or in first line in the presence of 17p deletion or TP53 mutation in patients unsuitable for chemo-immunotherapy.

The decision from the European Commission follows a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on 24 July 2014. This approval allows for the marketing of Imbruvica (ibrutinib) in all 28 countries of the European Union.

Helping against "very limited treatment options and poor survival"

“MCL and CLL with 17p deletion are usually challenging and difficult-to-treat blood cancers that do not respond well to conventional therapies. They usually rapidly progress during or soon after chemotherapy leaving patients with very limited treatment options and poor survival,” said Professor Peter Hillmen, Haematology, St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds, who is an investigator in the ibrutinib CLL clinical trial.

Details on CLL  MCL

CLL in most patients is a slow-growing blood cancer, starting from white blood cells (called lymphocytes) in the bone marrow. The chromosomal abnormalities deletion 17p (del17p) and TP53 mutation are associated with aggressive, treatment-resistant disease.

MCL is a rare and aggressive type of B-cell lymphoma that can be challenging to treat and is associated with a poor prognosis.

 

Source: eCancer News

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