UAMS Drug Trial Leads to First FDA-Approved Casteman's Treatment
Little Rock, AR - The first-ever treatment for multicentric Castleman’s disease - a rare blood disorder - was approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration after drug trials headed by a researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
Frits van Rhee, M.D., Ph.D., the nation’s leading expert in Castleman’s disease, led the years-long study of siltuximab in conjunction with Horsham, Pa.-based Janssen Biotech Inc. The drug was approved April 23 under the trade name Sylvant for patients who are HIV negative and human herpes virus-8 negative.
“The approval of Sylvant gives physicians a long-awaited treatment option for a group of patients who have been suffering with this chronic, serious and debilitating disease,” said van Rhee, a UAMS College of Medicine professor and director of developmental and translational medicine at UAMS. He also holds the Charles & Clydene Scharlau Chair for Hematological Malignancies Research.
Castleman’s disease is a rare blood disorder that acts very much like lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. With Castleman’s, white blood cells called lymphocytes are overproduced, leading to enlarged lymph nodes. It also can affect lymphoid tissue of internal organs, causing the liver, spleen, or other organs to enlarge. Infections, multisystem organ failure, and malignancies, including malignant lymphoma, are common causes of death in patients with the disease. Continue>
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