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Dismissed leukemia drug helps cll patients, studies show
Date:12/7/2008

cer-fighter. But when researchers gave it to humans in repeated trials using a continuous prolonged infusion, the drug proved ineffective and was essentially forgotten.

What wasn't known then and what Ohio State researchers discovered later is that flavopiridol binds to proteins in human blood, which ties up much of the available drug and leaves less free drug in the bloodstream to kill cancer cells. In essence, patients were not getting enough of the drug to be effective.

Researchers at Ohio State devised a new dosing schedule for the drug to increase its anti-tumor activity.

The new schedule increased the drug's blood level enough to kill cancer cells in humans, says Dr. Michael Grever, chairman of the department of internal medicine and co-leader of the Experimental Therapeutics program at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"Flavopiridol has bridged the way for several CLL patients to receive a curative stem cell transplant," says Dr. John Byrd, associate director of translational research and principal investigator of the phase II trial. Ohio State is now participating in a multi-center flavopiridol trial to see if other cancer centers have similar results with flavopiridol.


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Contact: Eileen Scahill
Eileen.Scahill@osumc.edu
614-390-9832
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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