Novartis Cancer Drug Gleevec May Harm Heart

Again, we need to examine what drugs do, and what the side-effects can be. While a drug may be designed to have a benefit, the side effects can be as bad as the condition they are designed to treat! In this case, it seems that it could cause congestive heart failure according to research.

Novartis Cancer Drug Gleevec May Harm Heart, Researchers Say

“Novartis AG’s Gleevec cancer drug may harm patients’ hearts, researchers said after studying the product in mice and a small group of humans. Gleevec, which can keep a form of the blood cancer leukemia in check, may cause congestive heart failure, the researchers said. Still, the scientists didn’t say patients should stop taking the treatment. ‘The message is that patients need to stay on Gleevec,’ said Thomas Force, the lead researcher and a doctor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, in a telephone interview. Gleevec, which brought in $2.2 billion last year for Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis, is a type of targeted cancer medicine that’s thought to have fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy. The toxicity found in Gleevec may be present in other similar drugs, Force said.”

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