In this medicinal video learn about how this special pill is keeping some rare cancer patients alive.
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Jennifer Matthews: Every three months, Trudy Webb is scanned to make sure her cancer is staying away. This dark spot on her liver is a cavity. It used to be a ten-pound tumor. Trudy Webb: Once I found out how large the tumor mass was, I just knew I was doomed, that there was nothing that was going to work. Jennifer Matthews: Surgeons cut out the cancer, but it grew back even bigger. They burned, poisoned, and tried to cut off the tumor's blood supply. Nothing worked. Trudy Webb: We had our funeral arrangements made. I had my cemetery plot picked out. We had our wills in order. Jennifer Matthews: And then, two years ago, one last hope. Doctors discovered the drug Gleevec worked for some leukemia patients. They thought it might also turn off the protein driving Trudy's cancer. Dr. Charles Blanke: It's always turned on, like if you had a light switch that you taped in the open position always sending signal to the bulb. The KIT is always sending signals to the tumor to continue to grow, grow, grow. Jennifer Matthews: Within weeks of taking her first dose, Trudy could feel her tumor shrinking. Trudy Webb: The PET scan was the first real confirmation I had that said, by gosh, this is working. This is really going to be the little pill that works. Dr. Charles Blanke: These people used to get worse and die in a month and a half. Now, we're seeing people like Trudy who are alive and well and perfect three years later. Jennifer Matthews: Trudy does experience mild side effects, irritated eyes and fluid build up in her legs. She says it's a small price to pay for life. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.