Posted tagged ‘Food and Drug Administration’

Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Patients Now Have Hope

April 22, 2013

In 2000, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved a drug developed through a small biopharmaceutical start-up company developed by Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald as a treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia. The drug, arsenic trioxide, has since won the confidence of a variety of physicians who treat the disease, and studies have found it to produce long-term remission in a significant sample of patients who received it.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia, a type of acute myeloid leukemia, is a cancer centered in the bone marrow. APL causes the growth of promyelocytes, or immature white blood cells, which then crowd out the healthy white blood cells that battle infection, the oxygen-transporting red blood cells, and the clotting agents known as thrombocytes, or platelets.

APL patients typically display an increased tendency to anemia, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, bruising, and other conditions that indicate excessive blood loss. The growing cancer cells, combined with the diminished number of healthy blood cells, additionally contribute to overall fatigue, slow wound-healing, and joint and bone pain.

According to the journal Leukemia, arsenic trioxide is the drug most frequently indicated in the treatment of APL. Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald and his team devoted considerable resources to their development of the drug, after numerous other investors and pharmaceutical analysts had dismissed it. Dr. Rosenwald has served as a practicing physician and an investment professional in the highly competitive Wall Street biotechnology sector. He has funded or created companies whose work has been instrumental in developing medications to treat not only cancer but rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, fibromyalgia, and obesity.

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