Cure for leukemia in the works? Doctors develop promising new approach.
On August 12, 2011 At 7:57 am
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Doctors are saying that it works better than they thought it would.
What they are talking about is a new approach in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania took a type of white blood cell from three leukemia patients who exhausted the conventional therapies, inserted some genes and made the cells target and then kill cancer cells. The good cells multiply and became "serial killers" of sorts, killing off the cancer cells.
A year later, two of the patients had no detectable cancer left in their bodies. The third patient's cancer cells were reduced by 70%. They had one of the most common forms of leukemia in adults.
Dr. June Carl explained how his approach worked to CNN. Dr. Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society thought that Carl and his researchers have done"incredibly good work" but cautioned patients that more research needs to be done. Brawley says there will be 5-10 years of additional work before FDA approval.
According to Brawley, there is a serious lack of funding and only about 10 percent of good science and studies receive funding.