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The GIST of the matter
Monday, May 21, 2001
Phase II data on a new indication for Novartis AG's Gleevec, presented
at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting last week, provide a good example of
the value of understanding the molecular mechanisms behind cancer. It turns out that
Gleevec acts not only on the kinase that is over-expressed in chronic myeloid leukemia
(CML), for which Gleevec was just approved, but also on one that plays a role in
gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
Gleevec selectively inhibits just three of the many tyrosine kinases:
Abl, Kit and platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFr). In CML, patients have a
mutant protein, Bcr
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