This medical video looks into the new drugs that are being used in treatments for those who suffer from leukemia.
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Jennifer Matthews: Seventeen years ago, John Meckley took on a challenge and amazed himself. John Meckley: It was a thrill and I said to myself, I did it. I did it. Jennifer Matthews: That was his first triathlon. Since then, he has completed 70 more. John Meckley: I train five days a week, take two days off. Jennifer Matthews: In shape and feeling great, John never expected the news his doctor delivered. John Meckley: The doctor called me at work and told me over the telephone that I had leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Jennifer Matthews: That news brought him to Dr. John Roberts. Dr. John Roberts: Can you take off your glasses? John Meckley: Sure. Jennifer Matthews: Instead of treating the slow-growing cancer with toxic chemotherapy alone, Dr. Roberts took a different approach. Dr. John Roberts: Bryostatin represents a new approach in that we're trying to identify drugs which specifically target the cancer cell. Jennifer Matthews: The drug seeks out cancer cells and changes the biology. When chemotherapy enters, the cancer dies more easily. Dr. John Roberts: A long-term goal of this sort of research, of course, is to develop drug combinations or other treatment approaches, which will allow us to cure patients, so that they can forget about this cancer and go on with their lives. Jennifer Matthews: The treatment seems to be doing just that for John. John Meckley: Right now, I feel physically as good as I ever have. Jennifer Matthews: As for his racing, that's improved too. John Meckley: I was 17 minutes faster than the previous year. Jennifer Matthews: And he plans to continue beating the odds. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.