Nightly News | August 10, 2011
>>> as we have been telling you here tonight, there is some good news to report in the fight against cancer, an experimental treatment for leukemia is having extraordinary results beyond any expectations. it's small so far but the results are big enough to get out to the world and tonight as our chief science correspondent robert bazell reports, if it hadn't been for one woman who suffered a loss, this very promising research might not have happened.
>> reporter: bill ludwig says doctors tell him without the experiment treatment he would have had only weeks to live.
>> i'm in full health, no cancer in my system.
>> reporter: he has gotten the experiment treatment. the results are so spectacular that many believe it could mark the beginning of a major advance in cancer treatment.
>> each of those patients, a one or two of tumor was eradicated.
>> reporter: it removes the blood cells and -- attach to and kill cancer cells and return them to the patients in one infusion.
>> how good were those results compared to your expectations?
>> the results exceeded our expectations quite a bit. our entire team is really excited. and as well, the patients are excited.
>> reporter: why only three patients? the research concept was so new that neither the national cancer institute would fund it. she and her husband started a charity to fund new ideas after their daughter-in-law kim died of breast cancer .
>> we wanted to do something more, hoped to do something more.
>> so here it's just full of leukemia and now it's gone. money from the drug companies is pouring in, not just for further tests on leukemia patients but to try on patients with other cancers. for now, three lives have been saved. robert bazell , nbc news, philadelphia.