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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020
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New drug is "a complete paradigm shift" in cancer treatment

Nine Irish people have been treated with Ibrutinib thus far.

Image: Leukaemia via Shutterstock

A NEW ‘MIRACLE drug’ could have huge benefits for Irish people suffering from leukaemia.

Ibrutinib has been fast-tracked for approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been proven to be far more effective than older drugs when chemotherapy has stopped working.

Dr Patrick Thornton of Beaumont Hospital and the RCSI told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the college had been involved in the clinical study of the drug.

He said that it is a world away from traditional chemotherapy.

This drug is a complete paradigm shift in how we treat cancer.

He said that chronic lymphoctic leukaemia attacks a malignancy of the b-cells in the immune system.

“This drug blocks the receptor on the b cell and is delivered in a tablet form and the side-effects are virtually non-existent.”

He went on to say that the drug can work in patients whose chromosomal deletions had previously meant that they had a very short survival time after diagnosis.

Thornton said that the drug was currently available to those most at risk through drug company Johnson and Johnson for free, as long as the patient is registered.

He said that Ireland had provided nine of the 391 people involved in the study.

He added that everyone in Ireland who got the drug responded to treatment and those who had not been given the drug were allowed to cross over to the drug (from the placebo) once the benefits were known.

He added that it was not known how much the drug would cost once it is made available.

First published 10.52am

Read: Calls made for “wonder MS drug” to be made available by HSE

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