New Castleman Drug is No Pie in the Sky

There is good news for the Castleman disease community: a new drug called SYLVANT (siltuximab) has recently been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration.

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That’s good news! Source:

If you aren’t familiar with this disease, in a nutshell, Castleman is a disease affecting the lymph nodes and related tissues. And, because multicentric Castleman disease mimics lymphoma, many people think it’s a form of cancer.

It’s not. 

Instead, it’s what’s called a lymphoproliferative disorder, wherein there’s an overgrowth of cells. However, people with this form of the disease are more prone to developing lymphoma.

In the past, Castleman disease has been treated with various chemotherapy regimens. But SYLVANT is something different.

SYLVANT is administered in the hospital, or infusion center, every three weeks. It’s a is a monoclonal antibody that prevents IL-6 from binding to IL-6 receptors, thereby limiting cells from proliferating.

In the majority of diagnosed cases, patients develop a single growth in a particular area of the body. This represents an abnormal enlargement of lymph nodes. Some people remain asymptomatic, while others require medical intervention.

In most cases of the unicentric hyaline-vascular variant of Castleman’s disease, patients may not have any symptoms or may develop a benign growth in the lymph tissue–most frequently in the chest. Depending upon the size of the growth and where it’s located, is the determinant as to the seriousness of the disease. If a growth obstructs blood flow to the heart, for example, immediate medical care is necessary.

If you are living with Castleman disease, and would like to find support, here is a listing of organizations that are available to assist you:

Share your thoughts about SYLVANT with the Patient Worthy community!

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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