THE CANCER PILL Dr. Brian Druker of Oregon Health Sciences University was searching for a compound that could block the enzyme that caused chronic myelogenous leukemia or CML for short. He recently stabilized a compound he had noticed to suppress the enzyme, that compound, STI 571, was recently being run through clinical trials to verify its action. He has been working at Oregon Health Sciences University on the pill, but the distribution and trials of the drugs are being run through Novartis Pharmaceuticals. The outcome of this revolutionary cancer treatment could help many people currently suffering from this condition if its trials prove it completely safe. So far in the clinical trials it has had a one hundred percent success rate curing thirty-one out of thirty-one patients so far tested.
The Leukemia Society of America, the National Cancer Institute, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and the Oregon Cancer Center fund Dr. Druker's research and studies. So far the research has only been tested on CML leukemia, but there is doubt it will work on other forms because it was specifically formulated for the suppression of the enzyme responsible for CML leukemia and its specific chromosome, the Philadelphia chromosome. Out of all the forms of leukemia CML accounts for about 1/7 of the cases only affecting about one to two people per one hundred thousand, most above the age of 50. It causes an enormous increase in the white blood cell count, sometimes as great as twelve fold or from the average 10, 000 to 120, 000. In most cases you die about one to three years after diagnosis..