Doctors tested the drug, marketed as Glivec, because it works by blocking the action of tyrosine kinases, enzymes that are defective in the tumor.
Researchers in Finland, and Oregon, USA, and Boston, USA, collaborated on the research.
At the time the drug was tested on a female patient, she had 28 tumors in her liver and abdomen.
|Glivec blocks tyrosine kinases - enzymes that are defective in stromal tumors.|
|New England Journal of Medicine|
After 6 months of treatment, the eight largest liver tumors had shrunk by 70% and six tumors had disappeared.
Researcher Dr George Demetri, of the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, Boston, said, "We reasoned that since Glivec can block tyrosine kinase activity in chronic myeloid leukemia, and since this fights the leukemia effectively, this drug could very well have similar benefits in treatment of GIST, based on the similarities between the different enzymes in the tumors.
"While this first experience was limited to a single patient, the results in this study are sufficiently positive that we have begun a large-scale international clinical trial of the medication for other patients with this type of cancer.
"This represents the first real hope for many of these individuals."
Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com