A clinical trial conducted at Cancer Care Centers of South Texas (CCCST) helped develop a new treatment for patients with myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow disorder. The results of the clinical trial involving the drug ruxolitinib (brand name, Jakafi®) were so promising they were published in the March 1, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
San Antonio.- A clinical trial conducted at Cancer Care Centers of South Texas (CCCST) helped develop a new treatment for patients with myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow disorder. The results of the clinical trial involving the drug ruxolitinib (brand name, Jakafi®) were so promising they were published in the March 1, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Posted by Angela Covo
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is considered one of the most widely read, cited and influential general medical journal in the world and the oldest continuously published medical periodical. Medical professionals rely on the NEJM as the “gold standard” for the latest research and best practices in medicine.
Roger M. Lyons, M.D., F.A.C.P. a nationally-recognized hematologist with CCCST, served as the principal investigator for the clinic trial locally and as a co-author of the NEJM article. The international clinical trial involved 89 sites in the United States, Canada and Australia, including US Oncology Research, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical Center, Duke University, Washington University and Stanford Cancer Institute.
Myelofibrosis is a progressive, potentially life-threatening bone marrow disorder with limited treatment options. Patients suffer from bone marrow failure, enlarged spleen, debilitating symptoms including easy bleeding, bruising, infections, bone pain, fatigue, severe itching, and night sweats leading to an impaired quality of life. Myelofibrosis can also lead to diseases such as leukemia or lymphoma.
Last December, Ruxolitinib was approved by the FDA for the treatment of myelofibrosis. According to the published results of the clinical trial, Ruxolitinib provided significant benefits to patients, including reducing spleen size, ameliorating debilitating myelofibrosis-related symptoms and improving overall survival.
Prior to the approval of ruxolitinib, there were no approved or effective treatments for patients with myelofibrosis, a bone marrow disease in which abnormal cells grow out of control and produce both immature blood cells and excess scar (fibrous) tissue.
The fibrous tissue builds up in the bone marrow where blood cells are produced and interferes with blood cell production, affecting the quality of the blood. To compensate, blood cell production occurs in other areas of the body, especially the spleen and liver causing anemia and enlargement of the spleen. The abnormal cells can also spread throughout the body, settle in other organs and form tumors that produce more abnormal blood cells and fibrous tissue.
Survival ranges from 2 to 11 years. Death is usually caused by infections, bleeding, complications of the removal of the spleen, heart failure or progression of the disease to leukemia of lymphoma.
About Cancer Care Centers of South Texas
According to the press release, CCCST is a comprehensive cancer care practice with 16 locations in the San Antonio area including, New Braunfels, Seguin, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Boerne, Marble Falls, Uvalde, Jourdanton, Hondo, and Floresville. The physicians and staff provide state-of-the-art treatment for cancer and disorders of the blood (hematology) as well as clinical trials. The physician staff is comprised of 25 board-certified physicians, specializing in medical oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, and gynecologic oncology, and a skilled and compassionate team made up of RN's, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants specializing in the care of patients with cancer and blood disorders.
Cancer Care Centers of South Texas participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has helped to develop 43 FDA approved cancer therapies.