Thursday, October 29, 2009

Money well spent

This is what we need to do to find a cure. Thanks to all who helped by volunteering for a study or writing a check. We have more to do.


Marion F. Swan

(212) 349-6435 / (347) 920-6680

Lymphoma Research Foundation Announces Recipients of CLL/SLL Research Initiative Grants

Second Round of Grants Brings Overall Total to $2,375,000

New York, NY … The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is pleased to announce that David Frank, MD, PhD of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego are the recipients of the second round of funding under the Foundation’s Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (SLL) Research Initiative.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (SLL) are the same disease with slightly different manifestations. Where the cancerous cells gather determines whether it is called CLL or SLL. When the cancer cells are primarily found in the lymph nodes, lima bean shaped structures of the lymphatic system, an essential part of the body’s immune system, it is called SLL. When most of the cancer cells are in the bloodstream and the bone marrow, it is called CLL.

John Balan, founder of the CLL Information Group with membership of approximately 1000 patients and caregivers, expressed the group’s delight with these two awards. “We have a great deal of respect for the work that Drs. Kipps and Frank have been doing with CLL. These two awards will only augment what they have already done and add to the arsenal of treatments available to patients.”

The purpose of Dr. Frank’s, A Clinical Trial of STAT3 Inhibition in Patients with CLL, will be to evaluate the benefits of targeted therapy for CLL/SLL patients. Through prior research, Dr. Frank and his team found that CLL/SLL cells are characterized by an abnormality in a protein called STAT3, which regulates genes controlling the abnormal proliferation of lymphocytes in patients with this disease. They further identified a drug that inhibits STAT3, and, with the two-year $300,000 grant from LRF, Dr. Frank will carry out a clinical trial to test its safety and effectiveness in CLL/SLL patients. This is Dr. Frank’s second LRF grant supporting his efforts to discover more effective CLL/SLL therapeutics.

Dr. Kipps’ “Gene-Chemoimmunotherapy for Intractable Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia” will focus on developing a treatment option for CLL/SLL patients with refractory disease who have limited treatment options. Dr. Kipps and his team have found that gene-immune therapy can render drug-resistant cells sensitive to chemotherapy. With this two-year $200,000 grant, Dr. Kipps will examine the mechanism(s) of drug-resistant disease and will pursue a clinical trial examining the use of gene-immune therapy to improve the capacity of patients with CLL/SLL refractory disease to respond to chemotherapy. Dr. Kipps is a member of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board.

About the Lymphoma Research Foundation

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is the nation's largest voluntary health organization devoted exclusively to funding lymphoma research and providing patients and healthcare professionals with critical information on the disease. LRF's mission is to eradicate lymphoma and serve those touched by this disease.

As of June 30, 2008, LRF has funded over $37 million in lymphoma-specific research. LRF also provides a comprehensive series of programs and services for patients, survivors and loved ones affected by lymphoma, including our toll-free Lymphoma Helpline and Clinical Trials Information Service, in-person patient education programs, webcasts/teleconferences and support services.
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Blogger Alison said...

There's a lot of research going on - more good news.

October 30, 2009 at 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in a phase I clinical trial of the ISF-35 gene therapy. Perhaps this is the gene therapy referred to here.

I had an excellent response, but it only lasted two months. Supposedly, repeat injections were necessary to have a prolonged response. Dr. Castro said that repeat injections cured CLL in rats.

That's the down side to phase I trials. You get only modest doses of a drug, to see if it is safe in humans.

It made me quite sick. I was told it would give me mild, flu-like symptoms. Tell that to the nurse who had to clean up my projectile vomiting that resulted from the injection. I couldn't even make it to the bathroom.

To my knowledge, they are only using the ISF-35 (Memgen) for 17 del patients at UC San Diego. Results are apparently mixed, with some doing very well, others not well at all. ASH this year will probably have up-to-date data on the trials.

October 31, 2009 at 9:34 PM  

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