Panama approves use of blood cancer drug

Dr. Germán Espino

The approval of in Panama of the use of a drug to treat a type of blood cancer affecting some 400 patients could have a positive effect on their lives.

It us estimates that over  124,000 people in the world have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer in the blood that occurs when the plasma cells turn malignant.

Over  87,000 died because of the illness in the year 2015.

In Panama, there are currently some 400 cases says a TVN report.

The disease has several clinical manifestations and the most common symptom is bone pain. Others include anemia (with or without symptoms) and bone alterations (with or without symptoms) and renal function.

The suspicion of multiple myeloma must be established early for prompt referral to a specialist.

Recently, the National Directorate of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), approved the use of daratumumab as an alternative treatment for patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

Dr. Germán Espino, the hematologist at the Paitilla Hemato-Oncological Center, explained that treatments like daratumumab allow patients with multiple myeloma to live in general twice as long as in other decades.

The approval of part of the Pharmacy and Drugs  Directorate is for adult patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one previous treatment and adult patients who did not respond to different therapies currently approved.

“The arrival in Panama of daratumumab, the first biological medicine for the treatment of multiple myeloma, is a novelty that opens new possibilities that positively impact the quality of life of patients “, Dr. Espino added.