It wipes out leukemia better than chemotherapy and radiation. According to a new study, parthenolide, an active component of feverfew, is the first single agent found to act on myeloid leukemia at the stem-cell level. This is where malignancies are born. Current cancer therapies are powerless against leukemia at this level. Even Gleevec, the most successful conventional treatment available, does not reach stem cells. Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center's James P. Wilmot Cancer Center tested a concentrated form of parthenolide on acute myelogenous leukemia stem cells, chronic myelogenous leukemia stem cells, and normal cells. They found that the compound killed cancer cells without affecting normal cells. When compared head-to-head against the chemotherapy drug cytarabine, parthenolide was superior at killing the leukemia cells. And the fact that it spares normal cells is important. None of the chemo drugs can do that.