Anti Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) or Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) Drug

Anti Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (Cml)/Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia(All) Drug:Vertex,

Chronic myeloid leukemia/Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) occurs in all age groups, but most commonly in the middle-aged and elderly. Its annual incidence is 1 to 2 per 100,000 people, and slightly more men than women are affected. CML represents about 15-20% of all cases of adult leukemia in Western populations.Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a rare, life-threatening cancer that starts in the bone marrow. Marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside the bones. Blood cells are made in the bone marrow. When you have leukemia, the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells. Normal white blood cells help your body fight infections. Although these leukemia cells are not normal, at first they function almost normally. However, leukemia can cause the number of white blood cells in the bone marrow to be 20 to 40 times higher than normal. The leukemia cells then crowd out healthy blood cells and can affect your ability to fight infection.


Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.It's called acute leukemia because it progresses rapidly and affects immature blood cells, rather than mature ones. It's called lymphocytic leukemia because it affects a group of white blood cells called lymphocytes, which normally fight infection. Acute lymphocytic leukemia is also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute childhood leukemia.Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) accounts for 80% of the acute leukemias of childhood, with most cases occurring between ages 3 and 7. ALL also occurs in adults, where it accounts for 20% of all adult leukemias.

The goal of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) treatment is remission of the cancer. A remission is achieved when the peripheral blood counts and the bone marrow are normal.Some adults and children with leukemia choose to enroll in clinical trials to try out experimental treatments or new combinations of known therapies.

The chronic phase of CML is often controlled by medicine to keep the white blood cell count normal.The FDA approved a new drug for CML called imatinib (Gleevec) & later Sprycel(dasatinib) which is particularly effective when the disease has not responded to standard treatment.

Most recently an experimental drug from Merck & Co. showed effectiveness in treating certain types of leukemia that have proven resistant to both Novartis AG's Gleevec medicine and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s recently launched Sprycel, according to researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Data presented on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology indicated the experimental MK-0457 drug showed activity against several genetic mutations found in chronic myeloid leukemia/chronic myelogenous leukemia , or CML, and acute lymphocytic leukemia, or ALL.

The trial involving 44 patients showed the first clinical activity of the drug, which Merck is developing with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The drug is of interest to investors because it has the potential to be effective in patients with certain genetic mutations who are resistant to Gleevec, a $2.5 billion drug, and Sprycel, which is approved to treat CML patients who have developed resistance to Gleevec and works in many cases.

Merck's drug also showed activity against a genetic mutation sometimes present in myeloproliferative disorders, or MPD, a group of blood diseases that can evolve into leukemia, the research showed.

While still early in development, the drug could be important as it addresses patient populations -- about 10 percent of those diagnosed with each of the three conditions -- for which no drug is effective.

"This is a relatively small population that can potentially benefit from the drug, but for those who have these mutations, this research opens the door to a tremendous option for them," said Francis Giles, professor in the department of leukemia at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who reported the data. "At present there is nothing to offer them."

Patients with CML who have a genetic mutation known as T3151 Bcr-Abl, are resistant Gleevec, Sprycel and to an experimental drug under development by Novartis called Tasigna. Sprycel and Tasigna are affective in treating other mutations that cause resistance to Gleevec.

Patients with myeloproliferative disorders who carry a mutation known as JAK-2 are similarly resistant.

According to the study, 35 leukemia patients had at least four prior types of therapy, and nine MPD patients' treatments ranged from one to seven.

The drug, which was given intravenously, led to a response in nearly all the patients, prompting the investigators to move forward with additional trials faster than expected.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 4,000 new cases of ALL, about 4,500 new cases of CML and about 10,000 cases of MPD diagnosed each year.

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