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  Science   11 Jan 2017  Drug to ‘melt’ cancer cells in chronic cases

Drug to ‘melt’ cancer cells in chronic cases

PTI
Published : Jan 11, 2017, 5:13 am IST
Updated : Jan 11, 2017, 6:51 am IST

Venetoclax has been approved for some stage-four patients of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, say scientists.

It works by blocking the action of a protein, known as BCL-2. (Photo: AFP)
 It works by blocking the action of a protein, known as BCL-2. (Photo: AFP)

Melbourne: A drug that may melt away cancer cells has been approved in Australia for use in patients with a type of leukaemia who have not responded to existing therapies.

The drug, Venetoclax, has been approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration for some stage-four patients of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. It works by blocking the action of a protein, known as BCL-2, that enables cancer cells to survive.

It will be available to patients who have not responded to standard treatments or for those who have not been able to undergo other therapies, such as chemotherapy. Researchers have been looking into a way to stop the protein for more than 30 years. Professor David Huang, a developers of the drug, said the BCL-2 molecule was found to be overactive in many types of cancers, particularly leukaemia, ABC reported.

“What we found in our studies was that 80 per cent of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia will actually respond to the drug,” said Maryann Anderson, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Ray of hope for leukaemia patients:

  • Venetoclax has been approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration for some stage-four patients of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  • It works by blocking the action of a protein called BCL-2, which enables cancer cells to survive
  • It will be available to patients who have not responded to standard treatments or have been unable to undergo other therapies
  • Professor David Huang, one of the developers of the drug, said BCL-2 molecule was found to be overactive in many types of cancers

Tags: drug, cancer, venetoclax, leukaemia
Location: Australia, Victoria, Melbourne