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Generic name: Imatinib - Oral
Brand name(s): Gleevec
This medication is used to treat certain types of cancer (e.g., chronic myeloid leukemia, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases). Imatinib works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells (tumors). It also works by causing cancer cells to die.
Gleevec is a new type of cancer drug – the first of its kind developed to fight cancerby turning off an enzyme that causes cells to become cancerous and multiply. Gleevec is approved to treat a rare cancer called Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), which affects between 5,000 and 8,000 patients each year.