Leukemia: Beyond Chemotherapy

It's hard not to get excited about an experimental cancer drug that shows real promise fighting chronic myeloid leukemia. The standard treatments for this rare disease--chemotherapy and interferon--are pretty tough on the body. Bone-marrow transplants can lead to a cure, but even patients with a perfectly matched donor face a 20% risk of dying in the first six months after the procedure.

So there was plenty to celebrate last week when the first articles on a new drug called Glivec appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. They reported that the drug kills leukemia cells (and only leukemia cells)...

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