Dr. Aljitawi: So from a physician perspective, who treats cancer patients, especially in leukemias, we know that to be able to cure leukemia, you have to get rid of the leukemia stem cells, because in many cases we treat patients and we get rid of the disease. But then within months or a year or two, leukemia comes back.
And one of the main theories for why that happens is that because if we don’t get rid of the leukemia stem cell, this leukemia stem cell will be able to create the disease again, once you’re off treatment.
So the idea now is if we are able to define what the stem cell is and treat it, we’ll be able to cure leukemia, which will be huge.
And to this date, leukemia is largely incurable. A lot of patients end up dying from leukemia relapse, despite all of what we do by the way, including transplant. Patients still relapsed. Having some way to identify these cells and find a mechanism to treat them would be our way to cure leukemia.