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Will Glivec cure my father's cancer?

Q: My father is having Chronic Leukaemia. His blood count was abnormally high and his platelet count was also high. His doctor suggested him to take Referron injections. He used to take it but again his doctor advised him to take Glivec. Now he is taking Glivec oral tablets. Now his blood count is normal and so is his platelet count. For how long does he need to take this? Is it safe? Is it a completely curable disease or can it recur?

A:I presume the patient is suffering from Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia CML). The disease progression is very slow and medication is very helpful for remissions. Glivec is the brand name. The name of the medicine is imatinib. Imatinib is also produced by Ranbaxy under the brand name of Zoleta. Thus Glivec and Zoleta are exactly same medicines but Zoleta is far cheaper. Hence I suggest that the patient is given Zoleta. With regard to side effects, mostly they are minor. In any case there is no alternative to treatment. At the moment imatinib is treatment of choice.

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