By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A local researcher is making strides in targeting a deadly form of cancer.

Gleevec is the drug of choice to treat Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (or CML) but it doesn’t kill the stem cells, leaving some patients at risk for the disease to get worse, or for the person to relapse, according to Dr. Tomasz Skorski, professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Temple University School of Medicine. He has found a protein that targets those stem cells in mice.

“We think our strategy will be able to eliminate these Gleevec-resistant leukemia cells and eventually cure CML.”

He hopes if the treatment is effective in humans it could also work in other types of cancer.