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Study: Heart Damage a Result of Cancer Drug Gleevec

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According to the AP, a study indicates that the popular drug Gleevec (Glivec) may cause severe heart problems, including congestive heart failure. While the report, by Dr. Thomas Force a professor at a Medical College in Philadelphia, indicates significant heart damage can occur while using Gleevec, Force contends that this study is only a warning to doctors and consumers of the potential problems with this and similar drugs. He believes that it is not currently necessary to remove Gleevec from the market because of these side effects. While the manufacturer of Gleevec, Norvartis, acknowledged that the potential for heart problems exists, they contend that risk is extremely small and does not change the risk/ benefit ratio to those who use Gleevec. Gleevec is a cancer-fighting drug that sold over $1.2 billion USD during the first six months of 2006.