New Drugs

Olysio and Sovaldi: Two new drugs for Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a major public health problem, especially in Southeast Asia. Interferon and ribavirin have been the standard of care in various combinations. The literature supports intereferon with the two recently FDA  approved oral medications that can be used in combination with the current antiviral regimen or to replace the injectable component of the regimen, peginterferon alfa. The two new drugs are Olysio (simeprevir) capsules and Sovaldi

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Ferriprox for sickle cell anemia

FERRIPROX® (deferiprone) is an iron chelator indicated for the treatment of patients with  iron overload form transfusions due to thalassemia syndromes when current chelation therapy, most commonly Exjade,  is inadequate. The approval in second line is reasonable both because the studies for approval were done in second line and because Ferroprox may be inferior to Exjade in first line (Cemak et al). This is not an innocuous drug; the most serious

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Zolinza for maintenance in glioblastoma

With the advent of biologic therapies, many new avenues to approach recalcitrant and difficult diseases have emerged. Once such cancer is the brain cancer glioblastoma(GBM). It is tempting to use Zolinza(vorinostate) for maintenance after attaining a remission of glioblastoma, because this is a disease that almost always comes back. Unfortunately, there is as of yet no literature supporting the use of Zolnza for maintenance for gliolastoma. A recent

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Zolinza for Hodgkin’s

Current chemotherapy drugs are very effective for Hodgkin's  lymphomas but patients who relapse after receiving them don;t do as well. This is because the cancers develop resistance to the se drugs. Zolinza is a new drug approved in the USA for the treatment of cutaneous(skin) T-cell lymphoma who have progressive, persistent or recurrent disease  or following two systemic therapies. It may be effective for Hodgkin's. For Hodgkin's, a phase

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Megace and Megace ES

Megace has long been shown to help weight gain in cancer and AIDS. More recently, Megace ES came on the market. The advantage is in the concentrated dose that Megace ES offers. It is indicated for the treatment of anorexia, cachexia, or an unexplained, significant weight loss in patients with a diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The recommended adult initial dosage of Megace ES (megestrol acetate) oral suspension is 625 mg/day

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Zelboraf for other mutations that BRAF-E

Zelboraf(vemurafenib) is anti BRAF kinase inhibitor. ZELBORAF™ is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with BRAFV600E mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test.  More than 30 mutations of the BRAF gene associated with human cancers have been identified. However, most of them work thorugh pathways and in a similar way to the BRAF-E. With this in mind, other BRAF mutations than E should also respond

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Rituxan and vasculitis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2011approved Rituxan (rituximab), in combination with glucocorticoids (steroids), to treat patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), two rare disorders that cause blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis). Case reports and sereis suggest that it may also be effective in otehr types of vasculitis, particularly those with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)–associated

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Sprycel after failing Gleevec

On June 28, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved dasatinib (Sprycel; Bristol-Myers Squibb), a new small-molecule inhibitor of multiple tyrosine kinases, for the treatment of adults with chronic phase, accelerated phase, or myeloid or lymphoid blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph(+) ALL) with resistance or intolerance to prior therapy including imatinib. The

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Stivarga for GIST tumors

GIST(Gastrointenstinal Stromal Tumor)  is the most common form of sarcoma in the gastrointestinal tract. There are thought to be 4,000-5,000 new cases of GIST diagnosed each year in the USA,  about 1,500 of them metastatic. Two treatments for GIST has been recently FDA approved. Recently, FDA also approved regorefanib, Stivarga, for colon cancer, based on the CORRECT trial. The application for approval is for GIST is now pending before the FDA.

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Melanoma: Retreating with Yervoy

Yervoy is recently approved drug that induces an ummune response against melanoma cells. )Some patients have only a partial response or progress afer responding, and owing to there not being many other good options, many doctors would retreat in such a situation. However, Yervoy is a toxic drug and the decision to use it again is not a trivial one. It is , unfortunately, not known whether retreatment is beneficial. There is a study looking at

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