Leukemia Home > Treatment of Polycythemia Vera With Gleevec
Certain cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, skin, blood, and bone marrow are often treated with Gleevec® (imatinib mesylate). This type of chemotherapy works by blocking a specific enzyme that causes cancer cells to grow. It is typically used when surgery or other medications have failed, and may be used to also help prevent the cancer from recurring.
On occasion, Gleevec is prescribed for a condition it is not approved to treat. This is called an "off-label" use. For example, Gleevec may be used off-label to treat the following conditions:
- Liver cancer
- Uterine cancer (endometrial cancer)
- Other bone marrow and blood disorders, such as polycythemia vera and myelofibrosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
(Click Gleevec Uses to learn more about both approved and off-label uses for the drug, its actions within the body, whether children can take it, and more.)