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Published on Jul 25, 2006 by Edgar Snyder

Cancer Drug May Lead to Heart Failure

Gleevec

The promising cancer-fighting drug, Gleevec, has encountered its first major hurdle. A study of the drug showed it could be potentially dangerous to the heart and may lead to heart failure.

A study published in the scientific journal, Nature Medicine, suggested patients be monitored for heart failure symptoms. The study also suggested that cancer drugs still in the development stages should be tested for evidence of heart toxicity. Ten patients are known to have developed severe congestive heart failure while taking Gleevec.

Gleevec is not the first cancer treatment drug to be linked to heart troubles, Herceptin used to treat breast cancer, has also been linked to heart problems. Around 100,000 patients take Gleevec, which is used to treat Leukemia.

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Source: “Cancer Drug Gleevec Is Shown to Carry Heart Risk.” By Jeanne Whalen. The Wall Street Journal. July 24, 2006.
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