Sprycel Approval Expanded to Include Rare Leukemia

Drug believed to hinder proteins that encourage cancer growth

THURSDAY, Oct. 28, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- Sprycel (dasatinib) has received an additional approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a rare form of blood cancer called Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CP -CML), the agency said Thursday in a news release.

CML is a slowly progressive disease of the blood and bone marrow that's believed related to a genetic abnormality, the FDA said.

Sprycel is among a class of drugs called oral kinase inhibitors, which are thought to inhibit certain proteins that foster growth of cancer cells. The drug was first approved in 2006 to treat other forms of CML that are resistant to standard therapies, including the Novartis anti-cancer drug Gleevec.

Sprycel's side effects could include decreased bone marrow activity, fluid retention, diarrhea, headache, muscle and bone pain, and rash.

Sprycel's maker, New York City-based Bristol-Myers Squibb, is required as a condition of approval to conduct ongoing clinical studies of the drug's long-term effectiveness for this condition, the FDA said.

More information

To learn more about CML, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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