ASCO 2013: Dr. Sharman on The Biology of CLL being Cracked with a Therapeutic Renaissance Underway
Dr. Sharman is the director of research at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and medical director of hematology research for The US Oncology Network, and a very creative and visionary doctor and a great blogger. His posts are always worth reading.
In this interview, he clearly outlines the rationale of using the new small molecules that blocks BCR (b-cell receptor) or Bcl-2 (b-cell lymphoma-2).
He shares some of the development of third generation mAbs (monoclonal antibodies) such as obinutuzumab to turn on the immune system. We learned in my earlier ASCO post with Dr. Wierda, immunotherapy, namely an allogeneic stem cell transplant is the only proven cure on CLL. And we have strong data from the German trial and others that adding a mAb such as rituximab to FC makes the chemotherapy better, so building a better antibody is an important step forward .
The swelling number of promising new molecules and treatment options needs to be met with an reciprocal swelling number of volunteers for clinical trials to keep the renaissance alive.
Are we already in a therapeutic renaissance for CLL? I believe we are just in the very earliest stages of the coming change to the treatment paradigm, but we need many more bright lights to guide our way and that will only be produced by the hard work of the bench scientists and the valour of the volunteers who enroll in well designed and patent friendly clinical research. Only then will we able to say that we have turned the corner on the "dark ages" of CLL
Thanks again to Andrew Schorr and the great team at Patient Power for helping make these interviews possible.
Labels: ASCO 2013, Bcl-2, BCR, Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Clinical trials, CLL, Dr. Sharman, ibrutinib, Idelalisib, immunotherapy, interviews, Lenalidomide, obinutuzumab, renaissance, small molecules, Video