Winter 2012 Update
Knight Cancer Institute: Leukemia Couldn't Keep Katie from Dancing
Katie has said she doesn’t remember much from the time when she was diagnosed. While the nurses and doctors were talking to her parents, she remembers they gave her a book to read about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
The doctors explained to Mark and Karen that CML patients have a relatively low survival rate and the potential for serious adverse lifelong effects as a result of the treatments, for those who survive.
The doctors then discussed another option - a new drug that had been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") only a few weeks earlier.
Gleevec is a drug that was developed by Dr. Brian Druker and his team at OHSU. It represented a new class of cancer drugs and a new way of thinking about cancer. Unlike traditional treatment like chemotherapy, which kills the good cells with the bad, Gleevec was a targeted therapy that would only kill the cancer cells.
Katie started taking Gleevec in August of 2001 and it proved to be a miracle drug not only for Katie, but for many other CML patients just like her.