Imatinib (also called Glivec)
What is it?
Imatinib, also called Glivec, is a new type of drug. It is more of a targeted anti-cancer treatment then older chemotherapy drugs.
What is it used for?
How does it work?
Imatinib targets an enzymeAn enzyme is a type of protein that helps chemical reactions occur in cells within cells called tyrosine kinase. This enzyme is over active in chronic myeloid leukaemia and results in increased cell division and growth. By blocking this enzyme Imatinib therefore stops cancer cell growth and kills cancerous cells.
How is it given?
Imatinib is taken by mouth as a tablet, it is not given alongside other chemotherapy medications.
What are the most important side effects?
As Imatinib is a targeted treatment so patients tend to suffer with fewer side effects when compared to those taking other chemotherapy medications.
Written by: Dr T Rider
Editor: Dr J Newman