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NEW DRUG CAUSES REMISSION OF RARE HAIRY-CELL LEUKEMIA

SHARE NEW DRUG CAUSES REMISSION OF RARE HAIRY-CELL LEUKEMIA

A new drug appears extremely effective in combating a rare form of leukemia and holds promise as a treatment for other forms of the blood system cancer, California researchers said Wednesday.

A drug known as 2-CdA brought about a complete remission of hairy-cell leukemia in at least 11 of 12 patients after only one seven-day course of treatment, the researchers said.In addition, 2-CdA appeared "remarkably devoid" of toxic side effects usually associated with chemotherapy, Dr. Lawrence Piro and colleagues at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla reported in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Hairy-cell leukemia, which affects about 6,000 Americans, is usually fatal after a period of months or years. Sufferers typically have low white-blood cell counts and infections that often require them to undergo frequent blood transfusions.