December 16, 1999
Baltimore (Johns Hopkins)
If we sit down 20 years from now and list the wonder drugs of the '90s, what would make that list? Cyclophosphamide is one contender.
Technically, it's a drug of the late 1950s. But it wasn't until recently that researchers proved Cyclophosphamide does something remarkable: It can literally reboot the Immune System.
It's the only drug known that kills off errant cells of the Immune System, while leaving Stem Cells intact. Stem Cells can develop into other kinds of body cells.
For AutoImmune Diseases like Lupus and Aplastic Anemia, Cyclophosphamide wipes out the cells that are mistakenly attacking the body, yet allows the body to start fresh by creating new cells that work correctly.
"And it's very clear that we can take patients that have very late-stage disease, that have failed all other conventional therapies, and essentially get rid of their disease in at least half of the cases," says Dr. Robert Brodsky, an assistant professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Brodsky says the big question now is when to use the drug for maximum benefit.
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