Results of a Phase I/II clinical study published Thursday showed thatImmunex Corp.'s drug Pixykine can significantly reduce some of thetoxic side effects of cancer chemotherapy.In the study, published in the April issue of the Journal of ClinicalOncology, 24 patients undergoing chemotherapy for soft tissuecancers known as sarcomas were treated with the drug to seewhether it could reduce the cumulative, damaging effects of acombination of cancer drugs on blood-forming cells. Patients weretreated before chemotherapy to test the drug's safety and againfollowing the second cycle of chemotherapy.Pixykine was found to significantly reduce the depth and duration oflow white cell count. The study showed that Pixykine also reducedcumulative thrombocytopenia, thus decreasing the patients' need forplatelet transfusions.The fusion molecule, which was invented by the Seattle company,also was shown to increase red blood cells and reduce incidences ofmucositis. Pixykine currently is being tested in a series of Phase IIItrials to prevent poor white cell and platelet productivity, whichoccurs as a result of chemotherapy or in bone marrow transplantpatients.
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