“Genetic Gamble” is an amazing article by Gina Kolata at the New York Times and brings new hope for people with cancer. Dr. Lukas Wartman, a young and talented doctor was diagnosed with the very cancer he was studying – adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. No known treatment could save him.
According to the article, his colleagues at Washington University St. Louis investigated his complete genetic makeup using cancer genome sequencing and found a gene causing his cancer growth – FLT3 . FLT3 was active in his leukemia cells. Its normal role is to make cells grow and proliferate.
They found a kidney cancer drug called Sutent (sunitinib) that inhibits FLT that could shut down the malfunctioning gene.
He started taking the kidney cancer drug and he is now in remission after being given a certain death sentence.
More here at NY Times.