11.1 C
Byron Shire
April 24, 2021

Leukaemia drug could replace chemotherapy

Latest News

Tweed Council to write to government for more housing support

With a shortage of affordable housing in most areas of the Far North Coast, it is not surprising that Tweed is also feeling the pinch and Council has declared a housing emergency in the area owing to a lack of availability and affordability.

Other News

Could pyrolysis help solve the plastics crisis?

Philippe Dupuy from the Lismore Environment Centre thinks there is a role for pyrolysis technology in dealing with the global plastic waste dilemma, with new technology making it possible to turn plastic waste into a useful resource.

Remembering Peter Warner

Ballina's legendary man of the sea Peter Warner died doing what he loved best, sailing, during an attempted crossing of the Ballina Bar in rough conditions last week. He was ninety years old.

You Donne good

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park I’d like to thank whoever decided to reprint John Donne’s beautiful poem ‘No Man is an Island’...

Cr Keith Williams calls for consultation on South Ballina Beach access

At today's Ballina Council meeting, Cr Keith Williams is going to urge council to write to the NSW Minister for Crown Lands about South Ballina beach, which has recently been closed to public 4WD access.

Exciting lineup for 2021 Bangalow Music Festival

Southern Cross Soloists (SXS) yesterday unveiled a stellar Bangalow Music Festival program for August 2021. The theme for the 19th festival is 'music’s inexhaustible joie de vivre'.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Byron’s Back

‘Byron’s dead’. That’s the statement that I often hear. Or ‘I never go there anymore it’s lost’ or ‘Byron died years ago’. It always makes me feel a bit sad and defensive. I have such a love for this place, although I curse it when I get stuck in snaking traffic at 8am on a weekday morning or I can’t find a park near where I am going.

The successful trial of a new leukaemia drug could herald the end of chemotherapy as the main weapon against the blood cancer, says an Australian specialist.

The results of human trials show the drug ibrutinib could save people with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) after the disease develops resistance to chemotherapy.

It gives them a much better chance of survival than the standard treatment, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

More than four in 10 patients on ibrutinib entered remission, compared with four in 100 on the standard treatment, says Dr Con Tam of Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

CLL is the most common form of leukaemia in Australia and other Western countries. About 50 percent of people with the disease never develop serious symptoms and don’t need treatment.

But the disease is life-threatening for the other half and eventually becomes resistant to chemotherapy.

After one year, overall survival on ibrutinib was 90 per cent, compared with 81 per cent on standard treatment.

‘These resistant patients have no other treatment option,’ says Dr Tam, co-author of a New England Journal of Medicine report on the international trial involving 391 patients.

And unlike chemotherapy, ibrutinib has few side effects. It works by disabling an enzyme crucial for leukaemia’s survival.

Patients in the trial responded quickly and reported a greatly improved quality of life, says Dr Tam.

The drug was so effective its superiority was confirmed after an average follow-up of only nine months, and approval of its use in the US has been fast-tracked.

‘This pill works extremely well when chemotherapy stops working,’ says Dr Tam, who participated in the Australian trial.

‘The next question is whether this should be the main treatment for leukaemia. We might not need chemotherapy at all.’

Hundreds of Australians a year could benefit from the US-developed drug, says Dr Tam.

But Australian approval is around a year away and it could take two years to be listed on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Simon Richardson steps down as Byron Shire Mayor

In an eventful day for Byron Shire Council, pot-stirrer Fast Buck$ was ejected from the council chambers yesterday and later Cr Simon Richardson announced that he will be stepping down as mayor from the end of next week.

Pay parking for Lennox Head?

Yesterday's Ballina Shire Council meeting saw councillors raise the spectre of paid parking at Lennox Head, and possibly elsewhere in the shire.

They will not be forgotten…

In the wake of the pandemic restrictions, ANZAC Day will be commemorated in a COVID safe fashion and some areas will ask residents to...

East Ballina Lions desperately needs new members

East Ballina Lions Club has given over thirty years of service to numerous community programs and initiatives, but if it doesn't get more members soon, it will have to close.