Study looks at cancer drug to treat COVID-19

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local doctors and patients are taking part in a promising study for a new treatment for the coronavirus. They found a leukemia drug could help people severely ill with COVID-19.

Doctors at New York Oncology Hematology partnered with St. Peter’s Hospital to start testing the drug on patients.

The drug is used to reduce inflammation in the lungs caused by the cancer. Nineteen hospitalized people were treated, including three at St. Peter’s. Most had substantial improvement within three days, and all the local patients got out of the hospital.

“There were pre-clinical animal models looking at lung inflammation following a viral infection in those animals being reduced by this drug, so there was a fair amount of re-clinical data that this could possible work,” Dr. Stephen Wrzesinski, PhD, Dir. of Immuno-Oncology and Cellular Therapy, NYOH.

Phase Two of clinical trials are expected to begin at St. Peter’s and other hospitals around the country this summer.


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