"The community of leukemia doctors is very interested in this trial because the drug is so unique and we have reason to believe it will be very specific for CML cells," said James D. Griffin, M.D., professor of medicine at Harvard University and specialist in CML at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "The design of the study is very good and we expect results soon."
Druker explains that within the first year of the trial, physicians will hope to see preliminary results concerning the safety and efficacy of the drug. However, Druker is cautious, so as not to raise expectations too much at this stage. "As with all potential medications, the first clinical trials will be done with a small number of patients for whom there is no other effective therapy, with the objective of finding a safe dose for larger trials," said Druker.
Druker's research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Leukemia Society of America.
Bud Romine is a retired conductor from the Southern Pacific Railroad. He was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia in September, 1994, after seeing his doctor for a routine checkup. A blood test revealed that Bud was in the beginning stages of CML. He underwent chemotherapy for the next four years, but never went into remission.
"For the past four years, leukemia has been the first thing on Bud's mind when he wakes up in the morning and the last thing on his mind when he goes to bed," said Yvonne Romine, his wife. "But we still have a lot of laughs together. "We cry together, too, and somehow this keeps us going."
Bud and his wife read about Dr. Druker in an Oregonian article on April
30, 1996, and contacted him at OHSU. The Romines will remain in the Portland
area during most of the clinical trial for close monitoring
Contact: Henry Sessions
Oregon Health & Science University