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New leukemia treatment exceeds 'wildest expectations'

MSNBC, August 11, 2011

Doctors have treated only three leukemia patients, but the sensational results from a single shot could be one of the most significant advances in cancer research in decades. And it almost never happened. In the research published Wednesday, doctors at the University of Pennsylvania say the treatment made the most common type of leukemia completely disappear in two of the patients and reduced it by 70% in the third. In each of the patients as much as five pounds of cancerous tissue completely melted away in a few weeks, and a year later it is still gone. The results of the preliminary test "exceeded our wildest expectations," says immunologist Carl June, MD, a member of the Abramson Cancer Center's research team. Edgar Engleman, MD, a cancer immunologist at Stanford University School of Medicine who was not involved in the research calls the results "remarkable ... great stuff.