Reviewed by Michael Gill, B. Sc.
25 Gleevec Clinical Trials Near Me
Top Cities for Gleevec Clinical Trials
Most Recent Gleevec Clinical Trials

What are Gleevec Clinical Trials?

Gleevec is a protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001.

Researchers at leading institutions, including the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), National Cancer Institute, American College of Surgeons Oncology Group, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute conducted or supported clinical trials to study Gleevec. Researchers continue studying the efficacy of Gleevec in treating Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), inhibition of cell migration in U87MG glioblastoma cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells, and the potential to treat other conditions.

Why is Gleevec Being Studied in Clinical Trials?

The FDA approved Gleevec as a targeted treatment for CML. Prior to the FDA approval of Gleevec, the survival rate for CML at five years was less than 33 percent.

The New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a 10.9-year follow-up study in 2017. Results of the follow-up showed an estimated survival rate of 83.3 percent.

Researchers continue to study Gleevec to treat newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML), gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), and to help reduce the risk of the return of cancer after primary GIST tumor removal.

Researchers found success in studying the effects of Gleevec as a treatment for myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD) associated with PDGFR (platelet-derived growth factor receptor) gene rearrangements, to protect tumor and endothelial cells from semaphorin-induced cytoskeleton collapse and loss of cell motility, and as a model for the development of effective drugs to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

How Does Gleevec Treatment Work?

Gleevec is taken in oral form with a meal and large glass of water. The National Library of Medicine indicates in an August 2022 Drug Label Update that Gleevec inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in BCR-ABL positive cell lines, along with fresh leukemic cells from Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia.

The drug inhibits tumor growth of BCR-ABL transfected murine myeloid cells. It “is an inhibitor of the receptor tyrosine kinases for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and stem cell factor (SCF), c-Kit, and inhibits PDGF- and SCF-mediated cellular events.”

Gleevec is well-absorbed within two to four hours after each oral dose in both adult and pediatric patients. The major enzyme responsible for absorption is CYP3A4. Other enzymes play a more minor role in absorption.

What are Some of the Breakthrough Clinical Trials Involving Gleevec?

2015: This study sought to compare high doses of Gleevec with “reduced-intensity chemotherapy (arm A)” to standard imatinib/hyperCVAD therapy (arm B) in study participants with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

This is significant because there was a higher complete remission in arm A participants, compared to arm B participants. Researchers validated the regimen that combined reduced-intensity chemotherapy and Gleevec in Ph+ ALL adults.

2017: Researchers discovered a mutation that protects elderly people from developing Alzheimer’s disease, and the cellular process responsible for the protective effect of that mutation. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the results of the study. The researchers identified Gleevec as a drug that mimics the effects of the protective mutation.

This is significant because they hope to continue studying Gleevec as a model for the development of drugs to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

Who are the Key Researchers in Gleevec Clinical Studies?

Dr. Brian Druker is the director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. He helped to develop Gleevec. He published the ground-breaking study on Gleevec. Dr. Drucker launched the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center (CEDAR).

Nicholas Lydon is a British biochemist. He helped to develop Gleevec. He received the Japan Prize for his work in developing Gleevec, received the Fellow of the Royal Society, and the Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Prize and Lecture.

About The Author

Michael Gill preview

Michael Gill - B. Sc.

First Published: October 23rd, 2021

Last Reviewed: October 12th, 2022

Michael Gill holds a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Science and Mathematics from McMaster University. During his degree he devoted considerable time modeling the pharmacodynamics of promising drug candidates. Since then, he has leveraged this knowledge of the investigational new drug ecosystem to help his father navigate clinical trials for multiple myeloma, an experience which prompted him to co-found Power Life Sciences: a company that helps patients access randomized controlled trials.

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