New FDA Approved Drug Enters Leukemia Fight

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Patients suffering from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a reason to be hopeful for their future as a new FDA drug has just been approved.

The Food and Drug Administration recently sanctioned the use of Ivosidenib and gave some much-needed help to doctors and patients alike. Following several decades where there was a limited number of choices for treating AML, there is now another option in the fight against cancer.

Ivosidenib (Tibsovo) is an isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 inhibitor that works on decreasing oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate production, in instances where a certain genetic mutation (IDH1) is found.

Clinical trials have shown increased efficacy, and out of the 174 cases taking part, more than 30% showed complete remission in the course of the next 8 months. More so, out of the 110 patients that still had to undergo transfusions of blood or platelets, 37% managed to go at least 56 days without needed another session of transfusions.

As with most drugs, some side effects are to be expected. These include: fatigue, joint pains, nausea, swelling in the arms or legs, shortness of breath.

A simple test (RealTime IDH1 Assay) is administered to potential candidates in order to find out if they are eligible to take advantage of this treatment.

The press release notes that “Tibsovo is a targeted therapy that fills an unmet need for patients with relapsed or refractory AML who have an IDH1 mutation” and being in tablet form, it is a less intrusive manner of treating leukemia.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested more than 100 million dollars over the last five year to help research and has pledged to continue support, in the hopes of finding better solutions for treating AML.