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Leukemia Drug Shows Surprising Promise In Treating Asthma

A small-scale clinical trial from Boston suggests that a leukemia drug might also effectively treat severe asthma. According to UPI, senior researcher Dr. Elliot Israel said the medicine Gleevec reduced the "twitchiness" of airways, making them less likely to reflexively constrict when exposed to an allergen or asthma trigger. Israel said, "We showed we could decrease the amount of airway twitchiness by a third. That's a substantial change, and that was significant compared with the placebo group." Surprisingly, the drug also improved overall airway function. People whose severe asthma isn't controlled despite use of high-dose steroid medications are at risk of declining lung function and poor quality of life. Among patients taking Gleevec, their airways became less likely to close off after exposure to an allergen.
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