Ray Of Light: Blood Cancer Drug May Help In Battle Against COVID-19, Says Study

A drug which doctors often prescribe to treat blood cancer might come in handy in the treatment of COVID-19.

According to scientists, cancer drug acalabrutinib – which is associated with reduced respiratory distress – can bring down the overactive immune response in COVID-19 patients.

Researchers at National Cancer Institute in the US say that acalabrutinib blocked the protein Bruton yrosine kinase (BTK) in COVID-19 patients and clinically benefitted some of them.

Hence it is a potential therapeutic for the novel coronavirus disease, which has killed 399,000 people across the world so far.

The study included 19 patients diagnosed with coronavirus who required hospitalisation. Eight had been on ventilators for a day or two, of whom four came out of it and were eventually discharged.

Two of the patients in this group died.

Published in the journal Science Immunology, the study observed that the findings should not be considered clinical advice, as it remains to be tested in a randomised, controlled clinical trial.

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