[MOL] Leukemia survivors receives a shot of hope with new therapy [12771] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Leukemia survivors receives a shot of hope with new therapy



HYCAMTIN SHOWS PROMISING RESULTS AS COMBINATION THERAPY IN PATIENTS WITH
LEUKEMIA

SAN DIEGO, CA, December 9, 1997 --  Hycamtin (topotecan hydrochloride
for
injection, SmithKline Beecham) in combination with cytosine arabinoside
(ara-C), may offer a promising new treatment for patients suffering from
severe blood disorders known as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and
chronic
myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), according to results from a new study
presented today at the 38th annual meeting of the American Society of
Hematology (ASH) in San Diego.  In the study, patients treated with
Hycamtin
and ara-C achieved a complete response rate of 63 percent.  This is
encouraging because there is currently no standard treatment for MDS and
CMML, which are very difficult to treat. Hycamtin is currently available
for
the use in the treatment of patients with recurrent, metastatic ovarian
cancer.

"Since there is a critical need to identify new agents that can be used
to
treat MDS and CMML, these results are very important.  Studies with
other
chemotherapy combination treatments have been disappointing, and none
has
shown the response rates we observed with a combination of Hycamtin and
ara-C
in patients with poor prognosis MDS and CMML," said lead investigator
Miloslav Beran, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, department of
leukemia,
The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  "The potential
use of
Hycamtin as combination therapy looks promising for MDS and CMML
patients, as
well as for other leukemia patients."
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