Are drugs available for the management for CLL?
Q: I have a query about a specific type of leukaemia - CLL. Chemotherapy treatment given at later stages of CLL is not really a curative treatment, as it kills normal cells also along with cancer cells leading to reduced immunology and other related complications. I understand Gleevec has been found as a targeted therapy for CML, which is also being tried on other type of cancers. I want to know whether Gleevec or similar targeted medicines are there for CLL?
A:The answer to your question is - yes. There are targeted drugs available for the management of CLL. These drugs are targeted towards the antigens which are expressed on the surface of CLL cells, these are CD 20 and CD 52 antigen. They are chimeric antibodies designed to attach to these antigens and kill these cells. These drugs are produced by recombinant biotechnology. The name of the drugs are Rituximab and Campath. Both the drugs are commercially available.