A new experimental product, SGN-35, which is manufactured by Seattle Genetics Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., combines a tumor-killing chemical, with a cancer-killing antibody. The new medication cleared cancer to untraceable levels in 53% of patients suffering from anaplastic large cell lymphoma and cut tumor size by at least half in an additional 33%.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma where a tumor develops in lymph tissue or various organs, and usually contains many white blood cells. This type of lymphoma only affects approximately 600 to 700 patients per year. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, neck lumps, night sweats, and extreme fatigue.
According to Bloomberg, "SGN-35 works by using an antibody to bond with a protein found on the surface of lymphoma cells, and blasts them with auristatin, a chemical that kills cancer by blocking cell division."
In a recent study presented at an American Society of Hematology meeting, Carfilzomib, an experimental drug manufactured by Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., has been found to reduce cancer in a third of patients with Myeloma. Myeloma is a build-up of cancerous plasma cells, which tend to grow and multiply rapidly and cause tumors to grow in bone marrow. The exact cause of Myeloma is unknown, but is attributed to genetic abnormalities, exposure to petrochemicals, large doses of radiation, and immune system dysfunction. Symptoms include osteoporosis at an unusually young age, kidney problems, and a low red and white blood cell count.
The study included 266 patients total who had relapsed or failed to improve after being treated with medications, including Celgene Corp.â€™s Revlimid and Thalomid and Johnson & Johnsonâ€™s Velcade. Of these 266 patients, 257 patients reported that 24% had their cancer reduced by half, while 10% had their cancer reduced by one-fourth.
According to Bloomberg, Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. will use the results to seek accelerated approval for the drug from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
On December 2, 2010, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Inc. recalled over twelve million bottles of Mylanta and thousands of packets of AlternaGel, due to complaints of an alcoholic aftertaste. The taste comes from a small amount of alcohol in the product, which the labels failed to inform consumers about.
According to Bloomberg, in both recalls the amount of alcohol is less than 1% and the companies--- Johnson & Johnson-Merck and McNeil Consumer Healthcare respectively -- say that consumers who have any of the products can continue to use them. This latest recall is one of many in 2010 for Johnson & Johnson, who has come under a great deal of scrutiny from the FDA, following their numerous Tylenol and Benadryl recalls.
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