A drug with a storied past offers a new edge against an old foe
Dec. 4, 2016
| By Sabin Russell / Fred Hutch News Service
Discovered nearly 45 years ago in the volcanic soils of fabled Easter Island in the Pacific, a drug first thought of as an antifungal agent has found a new purpose by boosting the survival of leukemia patients after blood stem cell transplants. In a clinical trial conducted by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the addition of a third drug, sirolimus, to a standard two-drug regimen effectively cut in half the incidence of acute graft-vs.-host disease, or GVHD, a common and dangerous complication of these lifesaving procedures.
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