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Cancer's Heavy Financial Burden

Posted 8 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 – Many cancer patients can't afford to see their doctor or take the medications they've been prescribed, a new study finds. And the problem will likely only get worse as the cost of cancer treatments continues to rise, the study authors said. "You can prescribe the best drug in the world, but if patients can't afford it and they can't get it, then it won't be effective," said study author Dr. Greg Knight. He is chief fellow with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's division of hematology and oncology. "We saw a significant portion of patients in our study who were stretching their prescriptions or not coming to the doctor's office," Knight said in a university news release. The researchers reviewed survey results from nearly 2,000 patients at the N.C. Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C. The participants were all 18 and older, and had been ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Votrient, Avastin, Tarceva, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Tasigna, Ovarian Cancer, Sutent, Endometrial Cancer, Sprycel, Afinitor, Herceptin, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced

U.S. Pays Highest Prices for Cancer Meds: Study

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – The United States pays the highest prices in the world for generic and brand-name cancer drugs, a new study has found. However, as the world's wealthiest nation, the United States is better able to pay for those pricey drugs than poorer countries with somewhat lower medication prices, added study lead author Dr. Daniel Goldstein. People in China and India are much less able to afford cancer drugs than Americans, he said, even though U.S. monthly drug prices are about three to six times higher in the United States. That doesn't mean America came out on top in overall drug affordability, however. Developed nations such as Australia, England and Israel had the "best deal" in the world on cancer drugs, thanks to government programs that regulate drug pricing, the study found. "America is the wealthiest nation, but its drug prices are significantly higher – so much ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis

'Precision' Cancer Treatment May Extend Lives

Posted 20 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – "Precision" cancer treatment that's guided by genetic clues from the patient's own tumor appears to outperform traditional chemotherapy, a new research review finds. Patients given precision – or personalized – treatment experienced a tumor shrinkage rate six times that attained by regular chemotherapy. But, that only happened if doctors used genetic information to choose the appropriate targeted therapy, said lead researcher Maria Schwaederle. Those patients also experienced nearly double the length of time before their cancer resumed growing, according to the analysis of nearly 350 clinical trials. "It is not just that the therapies are better, but that targeted therapies must be given to the right patients," said Schwaederle, who's with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. She will present ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin, Claravis, Tarceva, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, BCG, Revlimid, Tasigna, Hydroxyurea, Sprycel, Zytiga

Could Talk Therapy Ease Chemo-Related Memory Issues?

Posted 2 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – A type of psychotherapy might help cancer survivors deal with the long-term thinking problems some experience after chemotherapy, researchers say. It's estimated that about half of those who undergo chemotherapy for cancer develop what's often called "chemo brain." For instance, they may have trouble following conversations or remembering the steps in a project, according to background notes with the new study. Although usually mild, these changes can affect quality of life, job performance and relationships, said the researchers from the Eastern Maine Medical Center and Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Bangor, Maine. The researchers developed a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) program called Memory and Attention Adaptation Training to help cancer survivors prevent or manage these memory problems. Their study involved 47 breast cancer survivors who underwent ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Fluorouracil, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Brain Tumor, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Melanoma, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, Tasigna, Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Hydroxyurea

Could a Lung Cancer Drug Work Better With Coke?

Posted 13 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 – Patients with the leading form of lung cancer may be able to look to Coca-Cola Classic to solve a common medicinal challenge, new research suggests. As the Dutch scientists explain it, the effectiveness of the powerful lung cancer drug Tarceva (erlotinib) depends on the pH level of the stomach. But many people on Tarceva must also take a proton pump inhibitor heartburn medication – such as Nexium or Prilosec – which raises stomach pH to more alkaline levels. That higher pH can lower the absorption rate for Tarceva, cutting its effectiveness in fighting non-small-cell lung cancer, research suggests. One prior study involving healthy volunteers found the use of Prilosec lowered blood concentrations of Tarceva by 61 percent. What to do? In the new study, researchers led by Dr. Roelof van Leeuwen, of Erasmus MC Cancer Institute in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, ... Read more

Related support groups: Omeprazole, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, Pantoprazole, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Tasigna, Sprycel, Esomeprazole, Prilosec OTC, Iressa, Dasatinib, Erlotinib, Nilotinib, Gefitinib, Protonix IV, Nexium 24HR, Nexium IV, Omesec

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on change.org that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Isotretinoin

Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Amoxicillin, Metronidazole, Doxycycline, Cephalexin, Clindamycin, Penicillin, Methotrexate, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Augmentin, Levaquin, Lupron, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

Drug May Help Slow Advanced Breast Cancer

Posted 12 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 – Adding the cancer drug dasatinib to standard hormone therapy may slow the progression of advanced breast cancer, a preliminary study suggests. The drug, sold under the name Sprycel, is already approved in the United States for chronic myelogenous leukemia. Experts said it's too early to say whether it should be added to the treatment arsenal for breast cancer, but they called the findings from this early study promising. The study included 120 postmenopausal women with either a breast cancer recurrence or metastatic cancer – meaning it had spread from the breast to the bones or other sites in the body. Overall, women who received Sprycel along with hormonal therapy remained progression-free for twice as long as those given hormonal therapy alone: typically 20 months versus 10 months. Experts said the findings, presented this week at the San Antonio Breast ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Sprycel

FDA Approves U.S. Product Labeling Update for Sprycel (dasatinib) to Include Three-Year First-Line and Five-Year Second-Line Efficacy and Safety Data in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in Chronic Phase

Posted 23 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

Data added to Sprycel U.S. labeling are among the longest follow-up data of current CML treatment options PRINCETON, N.J., June 20, 2013--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an update to the Sprycel (dasatinib) product labeling. The labeling now includes three-year efficacy and safety data in patients with newly diagnosed Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase (CP) and five-year data in CP Ph+ CML patients who are resistant or intolerant to Gleevec1 (imatinib mesylate). Sprycel is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed CP Ph+ CML. The effectiveness of Sprycel is based on cytogenetic response and major molecular response rates. The trial is ongoing and further data will be ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Sprycel, Dasatinib

Soaring Prices Keep Leukemia Drugs From Patients, Experts Say

Posted 25 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 25 – Pricey cancer medications prevent many Americans with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) from receiving lifesaving treatment, an international team of experts claims. These drugs can cost more than $100,000 a year for patients with CML, once considered a death sentence but now highly treatable with ongoing treatment, according to a commentary penned by 120 specialists in more than 15 countries and published online April 25 in the journal Blood. "Patients with CML have a much better outlook today than ever before, thanks to advances that have greatly improved survival rates. But these patients now face dire financial struggles as they try to maintain their treatment regimen with the drastically inflating cost of care," corresponding author Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, chairman of the leukemia department at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Gleevec, Sprycel, Imatinib, Dasatinib, Bosulif, Bosutinib, Synribo, Omacetaxine

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis, Votrient, Anastrozole, Avastin

FDA Medwatch Alert: Sprycel (dasatinib): Drug Safety Communication - Risk of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Posted 11 Oct 2011 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that Sprycel (dasatinib) may increase the risk of a rare but serious condition in which there is abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs (pulmonary arterial hypertension [PAH]). Symptoms of PAH may include shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling of the body (such as the ankles and legs). In reported cases, patients developed PAH after starting Sprycel, including after more than one year of treatment. Information about this risk has been added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the Sprycel drug label. BACKGROUND: Sprycel (dasatinib) is used to treat certain adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). RECOMMENDATION: Healthcare professionals should evaluate patients for signs and symptoms of underlying cardiopulmonary disease prior to ... Read more

Related support groups: Sprycel, Dasatinib

Cancer Patients Should Ask Doctors to Use Simple Terms

Posted 28 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 – Cancer patients are often faced with many difficult-to-understand treatment choices that can have serious side effects and even mean the difference between life and death. That's why it's crucial that patients insist doctors use plain language in explaining the options, advised Angela Fagerlin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a researcher at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "People are making life and death decisions that may affect their survival and they need to know what they're getting themselves into. Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo," Fagerlin said in a university news release. She and her colleagues outlined a number of tips to help patients get the information they need ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Isotretinoin

FDA approves additional medical indication for Sprycel

Posted 28 Oct 2010 by Drugs.com

SILVER SPRING, Md., Oct. 28 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new indication for Sprycel (dasatinib) for the treatment of a rare blood cancer when it is first diagnosed. The cancer, called Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CP-CML), is a slowly progressing blood and bone marrow disease linked to a genetic abnormality. Sprycel, an oral kinase inhibitor, is believed to inhibit the activity of certain proteins responsible for the growth of cancer cells. The action allows bone marrow to begin reproducing normal red and white blood cells. In June 2006, the FDA granted accelerated approval for Sprycel to treat adults with CP-CML with resistant disease or who were intolerant to prior therapy, including Gleevec (imatinib). The agency converted Sprycel to a regular approval in May 2009, after 24-month follow-up data from earlier ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Sprycel, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Dasatinib

Newer Drugs Beat Gleevec in Head-to-Head Trials

Posted 7 Jun 2010 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, June 5 – Two new drugs, dasatinib (Sprycel) and nilotinib (Tasigna), appear better than imatinib (Gleevec) in treating patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia and should be considered as first-line treatments, two new studies show. The findings, which should change clinical practice, are to be presented Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago and were simultaneously published online June 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Both next-generation inhibitors of BCR-ABL [dasatinib and nilotinib] are superior to Gleevec in treating chronic myeloid leukemia when compared head-to-head after one year of follow-up," said Dr. Charles L. Sawyers, chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and author of an accompanying ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Gleevec, Tasigna, Sprycel, Imatinib, Dasatinib, Nilotinib

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Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Leukemia

Sprycel Patient Information at Drugs.com