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R&D news in brief

Our weekly round-up of news in brief

Revlimid shines in study
Celgene's Revlimid significantly improves the symptoms of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), an incurable blood cancer, and in some cases, eliminates all signs of the cancer's genetic cause, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Results showed that more than 75 per cent of patients in the study reduced their need for transfusions and two-thirds were completely freed from the need for transfusions. ìThe study confirms the clinical effectiveness of lenalinomide in a subgroup of patients with MDS,î said Professor Ghulam Mufti, head of the haematological department at Kings College London. ìThe drug appears to be well tolerated, with thrombocytopaenia and neutropaenia, being the main side effects that require careful monitoring.î

Trial lowers bowel cancer risk
Scientists have found a way to reduce the risk of recurrence of rectal tumours to around 1 per cent, according to results of a Medical Research Council trial, which compared patients given radiotherapy before surgery and those given radiotherapy in a selective way post-operatively. Patients who had radiotherapy before having surgery to remove their tumour significantly improved their survival chances. Trial CR07 revealed that in patients who had five daily treatments of radiotherapy followed by surgical removal had a 75 per cent of being alive after five years, with the cancer returning in just one in 20 people in the group. In the second group - those who had surgery followed by radiotherapy combined with drugs over a five-week period - in 17 per cent of patients the cancer recurred and the overall survival rate after five years was 67 per cent.

30th September 2008

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