GENERIC NAME: imatinib
BRAND NAME: Gleevec
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Imatinib is an oral medication used for treating chronic myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It is classified as a kinase inhibitor. Kinase inhibitors include dasatinib (Sprycel), erlotinib (Tarceva), gefitinib (Iressa), nilotinib (Tasigna), pazopanib (Votrient), sunitinib (Sutent), and vandetanib (Caprelsa). Kinase inhibitors prevent tumors from growing by reducing the action of proteins that control cell division, growth and survival. These proteins are usually present in larger quantities or are more active in cancer cells. By reducing the activity of these proteins, growth and survival of cancer cells are reduced. The FDA approved imatinib in April 2003.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Imatinib is used for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome positive, chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML); treatment of Ph+ CML after failure of interferon-alpha therapy; adults with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL); adults with myeloproliferative or myelodysplastic diseases; mastocytosis; hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) and/or chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL); dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans; and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)
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