The story appears on

Page A4

January 15, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

Expert uses a poison as therapy

SHANGHAI took 57 prizes at this year's State Scientific and Technological Awards with 55 of them projects initiated or supported by local experts.

Top award winner Wang Zhenyi, 86, who still works as a doctor at the city's Ruijin Hospital, was honored for research that has greatly improved the survival chances of people with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).

His therapy, which combines all-trans retinoic acid - a chemotherapy drug - and arsenic has maintained a 95 percent survival rate among patients, making APL the first treatable adult leukemia.

Arsenic is famous as a poison but has long been an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine.

In APL, there is a drop in the production of normal red blood cells and platelets. Until the 1970s, APL was 100 percent fatal and there was no effective treatment.

Experts at the Shanghai Institute of Hematology tested Wang's treatment and found that the arsenic was targeting and killing specific proteins that kept the cancer alive.

The discovery was published in world-leading journal Science last year.

Wang, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, taught the current Health Minister Chen Zhu and his wife Chen Saijuan, both hematologists when they were undergraduates.

Eighteen scientists have been recipients of the top honor since The State Scientific and Technological Awards were launched in 2000 to encourage innovation.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend