Pills to treat Blood Cancer

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) could now be treated with oral pills that substitute chemotherapy. This is the conclusion drawn by scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College whose study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The new study has revealed that use of a twice-daily pill could turn a deadly blood cancer into a highly treatable disease.

In this randomized study, researchers from 19 medical centers in five countries tested a combination of two targeted drugs that attack cancer without damaging healthy cells. They found that those who received the combination of idelalsib and rituximab went longer without their disease worsening than those who received only rituximab, which has been the standard of care.

CLL is the most common form of leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. The treatment today for CLL can be worse than the disease, leading to a great deal of side effects and death.

[The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.]
[Photo Credit : Molecular Me]