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New Drug Approved for Lethal Cancer

Update Date: Jul 06, 2013 12:30 PM EDT

In order for cancer treatments to be effective, the time of diagnosis plays a huge factor. The faster it takes to identify the problem and treat it swiftly, the higher the success rates. Even when cancers are discovered early, there are still numerous problems that patients can face, such as side effects of the therapy or ineffectiveness due to poor response to the drugs. Due to these variables, drug makers and researchers have continuously searched for newer and better options in treating people with cancer. Now, a new drug has been approved to treat mantle cell lymphoma, an extremely aggressive form of cancer that is lethal due to its resistance to current treatment options.

According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, mantle cell lymphoma is an extremely rare type of blood cancer that mostly afflicts men over the age of 60. Mantle cell lymphoma affects around 4,000 Americans per year. In this study headed by Dr. Andre Goy, the research team evaluated the effects of a new drug called Revlimid.

The researchers recruited 134 patients who were treated with chemotherapy. Before the study, the patients' cancer had never regressed or had returned. After taking Revlimid, which is an oral pill, the researchers found that 26 percent of the sample group responded to the drug. Nine patients achieved complete remission at the end of the drug trial.

The clinical trial also found that 76 patients suffered from side effects of Revlimid and need to stop treatment for at least a single dose. 19 patients unfortunately had to discontinue the treatment. The National Institute of Health reported the side effects, which included drops in white blood cells, anemia, nausea, diarrhea, rash and Fatigue.

After this study, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Revlimid.

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