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Aussie drug melting cancer cells approved for human use in U.S.

LNM Radio Network

LNM Radio Network

MELBOURNE, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) — A tablet developed in Melbourne that “melts away” cancer cells has been approved for use in the United States.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday that venetoclax was approved for prescription outside of human trials for patients with chronic lymphotic leukemia (CLL).

Venetoclax, which overwhelms the BCL-2 protein that is vital to cancer cell survival, was developed in Melbourne in the 1980s after researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) discovered the importance of BCL-2.
“They said if we don’t do anything you’ve got three weeks to live,” Blackwood told News Limited. “I was so weak, I was in bed for 20 hours a day.”

Blackwood had cancerous lumps the size of golf balls in the lymph nodes in his neck and those the size of grapefruits under his arms but is now cancer-free.

“The change in me has been more dramatic than in anyone else. I can do anything now. It saved my life,” he said.