The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene And The Quest To Cure Cancer

May 20, 2013

Schematic representation of formation of the Philadelphia Chromosome
Credit via wikimedia commons

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In 1959 scientists caught their first glimpse of a genetic mutation, ‘the Philadelphia chromosome’ and began unraveling the mysterious role it plays in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and led to the development of Gleevec, a groundbreaking drug that made this once-fatal cancer treatable with a single daily pill. Jessica Wapner is a freelance science writer, and her new book chronicling the back story behind the breakthrough, “The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Mutant Gene and the Quest to Cure Cancer at the Genetic Level” was released this month.

This post was edited to clarify that a cure for CML is still being researched; it is currently treatable with medication.