On the first day of iwCLL 2013 in Koln, Germany, Dr. Jan Burger presented important basic science lab based research on how our CLL cells survive and grow in their protected niches and why it is so difficult to rid us of all the cancer calls, especially those hiding deep in our marrow and nodes.
His strong research along with the pioneering work of Dr. Tom Kipps and others helps us better understand the power of the new small molecules such as ibrutinib and idelalisib, and why we sometimes see the wild rise and slow fall of the absolute lymphocyte counts with treatment, particular with mono-therapy.
Without understanding the factors that influence the vulnerabilities and strengths of the evil clones that we are battling, we would never be enjoying the promise of the emerging targeted therapies. Instead. like the chatter for so many years at past ASH and iwCLL meetings, we would still be studying the best mix of chemo cocktails, admittedly often extremely effective, but coming packaged with all their collateral damage and long and short term risks.
We owe a great debt to all the bench scientist who are finding biological answers with potentially revolutionary clinical implications.
Here is the first of my three part interview with Dr. Burger from MD Anderson, Houston, Texas.
On a person note, today I saw Dr. Steve Forman, my transplant doctor from City of Hope for my twice a year follow-up. He agrees with the plan to taper the IVIG to every eight weeks and we have a plan to reduce my cyclosporin. More on all this later, after I get Dr. Byrd's sign off next week when I am back in Columbus.
Labels: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, CLL, cyclosporin, Dr Forman, Dr. Burger, Dr. Kipps, ibrutinib, Idelalisib, interviews, iwCLL 2013, micro-environment, targeted therapy, Video