Tuesday, September 21, 2010

AlloStim: The Promise of a Painless Cure?

This is a completely technical post of little interest to anyone without CLL now or a transplant in their future. I take that back. If you are an investor looking for a hot tip, you might want to read on. (My financial advice is even more suspect than my hematological.)

I have asked to comment on the inventive AlloStim from the very creative and very smart Israeli company: Immunovative Therapies.

It is very promising, very important work they are doing. What they are trying for is cherry picking all the ups of a transplant without any of the downs.

The are searching for nothing less than the holy grail of immune therapy, namely powerful graft versus tumor effects without the terrible graft versus host issues or the dangers of immune suppression. And what if you are one of the many who doesn't have a good HLA match. AlloStim may be your only choice.

The purpose of this blog is not to review new therapies for CLL. I suggest instead the excellent work of my friends, Chaya Venkat at http://updates.clltopics.org/ or Chris at http://cllcanada.ca/2010/index.htm. You will find good research and balanced reviews.

However, as I was specifically requested a few times to comment on this research, I will respond. My take is that while AlloStim may be the future, it is not proven yet to be the present. Is it worth considering one of their trials? Depends on your circumstances, but yes is my short answer.

My big concern is their mission is to recharge our own immune system to do the heavy lifting, and I worry that is flogging a lame horse. CLL is a cancer of the immune system.

My bigger wish is they have figured out a way to surmount that obstacle. I am not convinced. Not yet.

I do wish them G-d's speed.

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