Q:

Can Gleevec help someone who has gone into stage 4 bone cancer?

A:

Quick Answer

In 2015, Gleevec is used as an experimental treatment for patients with bone cancer, but it is not an approved treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for any stage of bone cancer, states the American Cancer Society. Gleevec is commonly used as a treatment for leukemia, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and skin tumors, states Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

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Full Answer

There are four stages of bone cancer. Stages 1, 2 and 3 are the localized stages of the disease in which the cancer is still present in original area of the diagnosis, but it has not expanded to any other region. In stage 4, the cancer has metastasized and spread outside the original area of diagnosis. In stage 4A, the cancer has reached the lungs, and in stage 4B, the lymph nodes and areas other than the lungs are affected by the disease, says the American Cancer Society.

Originally approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia, Gleevec is a unique cancer drug that targets and blocks the enzymes that cause cancerous cells to form and multiply, says the FDA. Treatment for bone cancer falls into one of four treatment types: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or targeted therapy. Using Gleevec is considered targeted therapy, states the American Cancer Society.

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