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Imatinib Metysylate - Discovered by Nicholas B. Lydon Nicholas B. Lydon a British scientist and entrepreneur developed Imatinib Metysylate in the late 1990s. It was called the “magic bullet" to cure cancer due to its ability to convert a fatal cancer into a manageable chronic condition by TIME magazine. Lydon and his associates were honoured with many awards for their contribution. Lydon currently leads Granite Biopharma LLC, a consulting company he formed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Imatinib Metysylate is considered as a revolutionary drug in cancer treatment because of its ability to target specific molecules inside the cancer cells rather than killing cancer cells without killing other healthy cells like chemotherapy. This led to a completely new approach in cancer treatment and there are hundreds of drugs based on this approach in development now. After completing his PhD in Biochemistry from University of Dundee in Scotland. Lydon researched interferon in various parts of Europe after which he joined Ciba-Geigy Corporation as the leader of a protein kinase inhibitor. It was during this that he met Dr. Brian Druker an oncologist expanding his expertise in tyrosine kinases. They worked together and found that in order for leukemia cells to grow they needed a specific type of protein and they synthesised a inhibitor to prevent this the inhibitor was Imatinib Metysylate.

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Imatinib Metysylate is a mesylate salt which acts as an inhibitor against chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), gastrointestinal stromal tumours and a number of other malignancies. The drug has given hope to many terminally ill patients. The drug initially tested on patients in the starting stages of cancer showed great results, So the drug was administered to terminally ill patients. The doctors and patients were amazed by the results as patients who were bed ridden and were diagnosed that they would die within a few days was shocked to see them stand up and walk out of the hospital in a few days. The drug has reduced the fatality rate by nearly 90%. It has increased the survival rate by over five years for CML patients. The drug is considered another chance to live by CML patients and their doctors. The drug has mild side effects like decreased white blood cell, decreased white blood cells, heartburn, Headache and fluid retention and swelling around the eyes. But overall the drug is very effective and can literally stop CML. The drug has lower risk side effects considering other treatment methods. The drug is also effective than other treatments in improving the quality of life for the patients.

MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyama MD - Stanley Medical College, Chennai
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