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Rheumatoid Arthritis Added to Gleevec Targets -- in Mice

Rheumatoid Arthritis Added to Gleevec Targets -- in Mice

STANFORD, Calif., Sept. 14 -- Gleevec (imatinib), the targeted leukemia drug, appears to prevent and reverse rheumatoid arthritis in a mouse model, researchers here reported, apparently by inhibiting proteins involved in inflammation.

The finding hints that the tyrosine kinase inhibitor - approved for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia and for gastrointestinal stromal tumors - might also be beneficial for a range of human autoimmune diseases, according to William Robinson, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford.

But Dr. Robinson said that researchers still must discover which of the kinases blocked by Gleevec are key to the clinical benefit seen in the mice and even more importantly must test whether the same effect will be seen in humans.

"A lot of things work in animal models that don't work in the clinic," he noted.


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