New Hope For Cancer

This little pill targets cancer cells with uncanny precision. Is it the breakthrough we've been waiting for?

By February of last year, Victoria Reiter, 63, figured she had only a few months to live. A writer and translator living in Manhattan, she was suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia, an especially deadly form of blood cancer. The only treatment available was interferon, an immune-system booster that wasn't really working and that made her violently ill. Reiter had spent most of 1999 in bed, too sick to read, to walk, to do much of anything--although she had managed to put together lists dividing her possessions between her two daughters.

Then she went on an experimental drug called Gleevec, and within...

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