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FDA Approves New Leukemia Drug

May 10, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A new drug that helped more than 90 percent of patients with a rare form of leukemia won government approval Thursday. Gleevec works by blocking chemical signals sent by cancerous cells and researchers hope it will also prove useful in a form of stomach tumor and perhaps other types of cancer as well.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said the drug is based on the principle of molecular targeting, killing leukemia cells while leaving normal white cells alone.

``We believe such targeting is the wave of the future,″ he said.

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