Gleevec and Children

Specific kinds of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, skin, blood, and bone marrow are often treated with Gleevec® (imatinib mesylate). This chemotherapy medication blocks a specific enzyme that causes cancer cells to grow. It is often used when other treatments, such as surgery or other medications, have failed, and can also help prevent the cancer from coming back.
Gleevec can be given to children as young as two years old who are newly diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). This drug has been reported to stunt the growth of children, and the long-term effects on a child's growth are unknown. Talk to your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about this or other problems.
(To learn more about when this drug is given to children, click Gleevec Uses. This article explains in detail how this drug works, specific conditions it can treat, off-label uses, and more.)
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