Miracle drug for cancer
Cancer, a disease which is the biggest concern of scientists around the world today. In 2012, an estimated 8.2 million people died from cancer worldwide. There have been many attempts for the treatment of the deadly disease. On such major attempt is the discovery of the “miracle drug”.
It is a major breakthrough in the field of Cancer Research. It is a wonder drug that is supposed to melt away the cancerous cells.
This new anticancer drug is called venetoclax, which has the power to ‘melt away’ advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was recently granted approval by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
It is a small molecule oral drug that treats chronic lymphocytic leukemia in those with a specific chromosomal abnormality. Venetoclax acts as a Bcl-2 inhibitor. It blocks this antiapoptotic B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) protein, leading to programmed cell death of CLL cells.
For those who don’t know, BCL-2 is a protein that enables cancer cells to survive. Since then a team of scientists worldwide has been working to find a way to ‘hit’ BCL-2 in order to stop cancer cell survival.
Venetoclax switches off the BCL-2 protein, allowing the CLL cells to die naturally and making them susceptible to chemotherapy, so it is more effective in killing cancer cells.
On April 11, 2016, the FDA approved venetoclax for use in those with CLL who have 17p deletion (deletion located on the chromosome 17 short arm) and who have been treated with at least one prior therapy. Based on overall response rate, the indication was approved under accelerated FDA approval.
Till now this miracle drug has been used for haematological cancers, but its efficiency tells about the upcoming scope of the wonder drug. The discovery has brought a major breakthrough in the cancer research and opened new doors of solving the unfathomable puzzle named cancer. And probably to find a cure for the disease.