Arnold and Helen Klein and their two children are immigrants from Slovakia. With his strong work ethic, Arnold became a successful entrepreneur. In 2003, Arnold had a persistent cough and Helen encouraged him to schedule a check-up appointment with the family’s doctor. The results of the blood test indicated a type of blood and bone marrow leukemia called Chronic myelogenous leukemia or CML.
Fortunately for Arnold, a new type of drug, Gleevec, had been developed by the cancer research community to target the gene abnormality in CML. Gleevec was approved by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Association) to treat CML in 2001, just two years before Arnold’s diagnosis. With Gleevec, the outcome for CML patients went from dismal to excellent long-term survival with little or no side-effects.
Targeted therapy interferes or targets the cancer-causing genes or the proteins the genes make. It is the foundation of precision medicine – a core focus of NFCR initiatives. As research learns more about abnormal DNA changes and proteins that cause cancer, treatments can be designed to target the proteins.
In celebration of Arnold’s 20th year in being cancer-free and NFCR’s 50th anniversary in the forefront of the battle against cancer, Arnold and Helen partnered with NFCR to develop The Arnold and Helen Klein Fund for Cancer Research. They hope their Fund inspires others to see the power and beauty of research and will have a long-lasting impact on NFCR’s scientific programs and make cures possible!