After a bone marrow transplant for Dr. Warman, who was suffering from advanced leukemia, failed to stop the cancer, the researchers on the project put other work aside for weeks, running one of the university’s 26 sequencing machines and supercomputer around the clock. And they found a culprit — a normal gene that was in overdrive, churning out huge amounts of a protein that appeared to be spurring the cancer’s growth.
Even better, there was a promising new drug that might shut down the malfunctioning gene — a drug that had been tested and approved only for advanced kidney cancer. Dr. Wartman became the first person ever to take it for leukemia.
And now, against all odds, his cancer is in remission and has been since last fall.
While no one can say that Dr. Wartman is cured, after facing certain death last fall, he is alive and doing well. Dr. Wartman is a pioneer in a new approach to stopping cancer. What is important, medical researchers say, is the genes that drive a cancer, not the tissue or organ — liver or brain, bone marrow, blood or colon — where the cancer originates.
Learn More About: In the Treatment of Leukemia
- In Gene Sequencing Treatment for Leukemia, Glimpses of the Future (nytimes.com)
- Glimpse of future offered with new leukemia therapy – Boston Globe (bostonglobe.com)
- Leukemia Diagnosis (everydayhealth.com)