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New Drug Helps Children Fight Leukemia
Paper Cut Leads To Cancer Diagnosis For Teen

HOUSTON - February 15, 2005 - For the first time in more than a decade, there's a new drug to help children fight leukemia, Local 2 reported Tuesday.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved clolar for children who did not respond to traditional therapies.

It has already made a difference for Houstonian Heather Carpenter, 18. She was diagnosed with leukemia in December 2002. "Everybody jokes about paper cuts and I am like, 'Hey, those paper cuts can be deadly,'" she said.

That's how Carpenter found out she had cancer -- through a simple paper cut. "It swelled up and turned black and it got infected and started going up my arm, so I had to go into immediate hand surgery.

Two days later, she began chemotherapy to beat a rare childhood cancer, AML, which is an adult form of leukemia. "It was a complete shock," Carpenter said.

After six months of chemo, Carpenter went into remission until one year later. "Complete devastation once again," she said. Her cancer was back.

This time, Dr. Terzah Horton, with Texas Children's Hospital, gave Carpenter clolar, which was a new drug still in the trial phase. "One nice thing about this drug is that it doesn't have as many heart side effects," Horton said.

That was a perfect fit for Carpenter, who had experienced heart trouble with previous drugs. "It's a significant breakthrough," Horton said.

"That was probably my favorite chemo, out of all the chemos. I know that sounds kind of weird to say," Carpenter said. It also did not affect her as much. "I didn't get too sick with it. I didn't lose my hair," Carpenter said.

Clolar helped kill Carpenter's cancer enough to allow her to have a bone marrow transplant. "I am in remission doing very well," she said.

Now in college and majoring in nursing, Carpenter hopes to make a difference in someone else's life, like one nurse at Texas Children's did for her.

"She was perfect and so nice. She made everything OK and made cancer seem not so bad," Carpenter said.

Natco Pharma launches leukemia drug

2/16/2005 - Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma Ltd. said on Wednesday that it has launched Lukatret - a medicine used in the treatment of a rare form of leukemia.

With this launch, the Company expects to further consolidate its position in the oncology segment, Natco Pharma said in a statement.

Lukatret available in the form of 10 mg. capsules (in a pack of 100 capsules) is used in the treatment of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL), according to Natco Pharma.

Lukatret is a treatment option for remission induction in newly diagnosed, relapsed and/or refractory, chemotherapy non-responsive patients and for patients where anthracycline based chemotherapy is contraindicated, said Natco Pharma.

Natco's Lukatret, which replaces the hitherto imported brands, is available at an MRP of Rs.7,000 (for a bottle of 100 capsules of 10 mg. each), against the imported medicine price varying between Rs.10,000 to Rs.12,000.


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